Taking Better Care Of Your Eyes As An Allergy Sufferer: A Patient's Guide

Do you suffer from allergies that leave your eyes often feeling itchy and dry? While taking your allergy medications as recommended by your doctor will help, there are also a few steps you can take in order to better care for your eyes as an allergy sufferer.

Always travel with your eye drops.

Bring plain, lubricating eye drops with you everywhere you go. Pack them in your purse or keep them in your car's glove box. When your eyes start feeling dry and itchy, use the eye drops. This will alleviate the itchiness by helping to wash the allergens out of your eyes. When your eyes are better lubricated and less itchy, you're less prone to problems like corneal scratches that can occur if your corneas get too dry and irritated. Plus, the eye drops will make you feel a whole lot better.

Don't wear your contacts when you know you're going to be exposed to a lot of allergens.

When you have contacts in your eyes and you come into contact with allergens, they end up sticking to your contacts rather than being washed out naturally by your tears. The irritation caused by allergens being stuck on your eyes for hours until you take your contact out can be severe. So, try to avoid wearing contacts if you know you'll be exposed to a lot of allergens. Check the pollen count, and wear glasses when it is high. Don't go into a building you know is dusty or laden with pet dander while wearing your contacts. It's a good idea to carry your glasses and a contact case with you so you can remove your lenses if you're about to face some allergens.

Use warm compresses.

When your eyes are itchy and watering, keeping your hands away from them can be very hard. But touching and itching your eyes puts you at risk of infections and corneal abrasions. Instead of itching, get into the habit of wetting a washcloth with warm water, and then holding it over your eyes. This will help ease your discomfort in a safer way. If you often find your eyes getting itchy at work, consider keeping a few clean washcloths in your desk or work bag so you can use warm compresses when you're tempted to itch.

To learn more about eye care for allergy sufferers, speak with an eye doctor in your area.