Allergies are common, and they affect millions of people worldwide. They come in two forms: seasonal allergies and perennial allergies. Seasonal allergies are common in certain seasons, mainly spring, while perennial allergies occur all year round. 


Spring compels many people to suffer from allergies as trees and grass release pollen in the air that, when inhaled, triggers allergy symptoms. Read on, to learn about spring allergies and how visiting an optometrist can help. 



What Causes Spring Allergies



Spring allergies are usually triggered by pollen that reproduces and grows widely during the season. Aspen, alder, ash, birch, beech, elm, cedar, oak, olive, poplar, and willow come alive with spring and produce pollen in abundance. An allergy occurs when an individual’s immune system reacts to an otherwise harmless substance.


The substance or allergen causes the body to produce antibodies. They travel to the cells, releasing chemicals like histamine. Histamine causes the nose and eyes to swell in an attempt to prevent the allergens from getting into the body.



Symptoms of Spring Allergies



Symptoms of spring allergies include watery and red eyes, runny nose, sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy nose, ears, and eyes, and puffy eyes. Other symptoms are post-nasal drip, hives, coughing, and wheezing. Weather changes affect the amount of pollen released into the air. Allergy symptoms increase in spring as the wind helps spread the pollen widely.  



Preventing Spring Allergies 



You can take several steps to prevent exposure to spring allergens. Checking the pollen count before going outside and limiting outdoor time will help. Keep your lawn grass short, and wear a dust mask when gardening or mowing the lawn. Stay away from rotting or dead logs, and keep your windows closed as often as possible. 


Use quality filters on the air conditioning units. Remove and wash your clothes when you come home, and wash your bed linen regularly. Clean your floors frequently, and wear sunglasses and hats when outdoors. 



Treating Spring Allergies



You can find several treatments for spring allergies. Among the treatments are antihistamines, eye drops, nasal corticosteroids, decongestants, and leukotriene receptors. You may also opt for immunotherapy, which includes using sublingual tablets and allergy shots. Home remedies like steam inhalation and saline rinse can help reduce allergy symptoms. 



Spring Allergies: Visiting Your Optometrist 



If allergies are affecting the quality of your life, seek medical help. Visiting an optometrist can help protect your eye health. They will help you deal with the symptoms of eye allergies like itching, burning, grittiness, swelling, redness, discharge, and light sensitivity. 


If you experience any symptoms, consult with an eye specialist. They will examine your eyes to determine the cause of the symptoms. The doctor can determine if you have allergies or dry eye syndrome. The two conditions share similar symptoms. 


You need to consult an eye doctor before you treat your allergies. Eye checkups can help detect allergy issues early. The eye doctor can prescribe medicated drops or oral medication to ease the symptoms. In some cases, making lifestyle changes can help alleviate your spring allergies.


For more on spring allergies and how visiting your optometrist can help, visit My Vision at our office in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. You can call (484) 265-9100 today to schedule an appointment.

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