Spring has sprung, and summer is on its way! This means we can only look forward to more sunny days, hotter temperatures, outdoor patios, and days at the beach… Can life get any better than this? After surviving one of our coldest winters in 25 years, most Torontonians would likely say ‘no way!’ But what about those city dwellers plagued with seasonal allergies? They might be a little less excited about this time of year.
The good news for allergy sufferers is that there are ways to alleviate symptoms and enjoy the warmer weather like the rest of us. Read on for some fast facts that may help you do just that!
- Rinsing out eyes with cool water will provide instant relief and may help flush out allergens that are lingering in eyelashes or near eyes.
- Eye drops help soothe itchy eyes and minimize redness.
- Swapping contact lenses for glasses may reduce discomfort and blurry vision.
- Over-the-counter allergy medications taken prior to an outing can help minimize or prevent an allergic reaction.
- Avoiding areas that are heavily populated by pollinating trees is a good idea if allergies are severe.
- Hay fever symptoms tend to minimize with age – a great reason to look forward to your next birthday!
If this is the first year that you are experiencing eyes that are itchy, red, and swollen, check with your doctor to ensure that your symptoms are not an indication of something more serious, like an eye infection. While allergies pose no real threat to the eyes, an ignored infection can cause vision problems over time.
One final note: We all know we need to shield our eyes from the sun, but if your baby blues (or greens… or browns…) are already red and watery thanks to those bothersome allergies, you don’t want to further aggravate them. Guarding your eyes from UVA and UVB rays with the right sunglasses* will help keep your eyes comfortable and protected!
*The right sunglasses should block 99-100% of ultraviolet rays.
by Kathleen O’Hagan