Buds, Blooms and Allergies
Trees are blooming and the green is popping out on the hillside. Have your eyes started to water? Do you feel your nose starting to get stuffed up again? It’s that time of the year, the time when the weather gets warmer, you want to get outside and all the plants and trees start to bloom. As spring approaches learn how to help prevent symptoms and avoid eye infections.
If you typically suffer through the flowering of spring, experts say you should be taking precautions now to stay healthy and start taking an allergy medication that has controlled those symptoms in the past. Know the signs of allergy symptoms that include itchy eyes, red eyes, clear nasal discharge, and a scratchy feeling in your ears or throat. Unlike a virus that comes on gradually, allergy symptoms tend to hit quickly.
Pollen can serve as a major trigger for allergy sufferers. When pollen counts are high try and limit your exposure to the outdoors, don’t hang laundry outside, utilize air conditioning, and allergy medication can help to relieve symptoms.
Among eye infections associated with allergies, pink eye is one the most common. Pink eye is inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. While this part of the eye is clear it contains small blood vessels. When an infection occurs these blood vessels dilate, giving the eye the red color. It is more frequently experienced with people who are close to others such as students, school workers, daycare workers and medical professionals.
Types of Pink Eye
- Allergic: This form of pink eye may be associated with pollen but can also be flared up by dust or pet dander
- Bacterial: Bacterial pink eye is caused by bacteria entering the eye. It can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated.
- Viral: Caused by a virus similar to the common cold. This is the most contagious form but will usually clear up on its own in a few days without medical treatment.
- Allergic: Allergy medications can often help to prevent or shorten the duration of the infection. It is a common practice to start the medication before allergy season or known flare-ups.
- Bacterial: An optometrist appointment is necessary and they will prescribe eye drops.
- Viral: This form will run its course over several days requiring no medical treatment. Using a cold wet compress will help relieve some of the symptoms do not share this compress as the viral form is the most contagious.
As we approach spring and allergy season follow these tips to help prevent eye infections.
- Avoid sharing items such as washcloths, tissues, or towels.
- Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes after covering your mouth to cough or sneeze.
- Never share contact lenses with anyone.
- If you experience seasonal allergies consult your doctor on how to minimize symptoms.
- Remove contacts before using a hot tub, being in the water, and even showering.
- Wash hands frequently, especially in areas of high public traffic (schools, daycares, public places).
If you do experience an infection don’t hesitate to contact the doctors at Bissell Eye Care to confirm if you will need medication to help combat the infection and prevent future eye damage.