Itchy, watery eyes? Some tips to relieve spring allergy symptoms

The sunshine and bright colors of spring are here, but so are seasonal allergies from pollen, dander, smog or mold that can often lead to itchy, watery eyes. Eye irritation is the body’s immune response to allergens, so when pollen comes in contact with eyes, for example, the body releases histamine, causing eye redness, burning and itching.

The Kentucky Optometric Association says discomfort from itchy, swollen or water eyes can be reduced with simple steps, such as maintaining a healthy diet full of anti-oxidants like spinach, broccoli, carrot discomfort that boost the immune system in addition to taking fish oil supplements that help reduce redness and irritation.

Other tips from the KOA include using preservative-free lubricating eye drops or re-wetting eyes with contact solution if you wear contact lenses. Applying a cold compress to eyes can also relieve itching and redness by constricting the histamine-releasing blood vessels. And remember: Do not touch or rub eyes, and be sure to wash hands with soap and water.

A local eye doctor can examine eye allergy symptoms to ensure the cause is properly identified, said Dr. Max Downey, an optometrist in Campbellsville. Optometrists’ treatment could range from eye drops to prescription medicines, said Downey.

In addition to discussing allergy relief with your optometrist, the KOA recommends adults have yearly eye exams at the minimum, depending on the severity of allergies.

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