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    How to Protect Your Eyes During Allergy Season

    For some people, it seems like every season is allergy season. In the spring, it's the tree and flower pollen. Summer adds grass pollen. In the fall, it’s weed pollen.

    The result? Red, itchy eyes that also burn and sting. For some people in warmer parts of the country, this can be a bother for as many as 10 months out of the year.

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    How Can I Get Relief?

    Seasonal allergies are most often caused by plant life that releases pollen into the air. That can make them tough to avoid. But you can do some things to ease your symptoms and protect your eyes:

    • Pay attention to pollen reports. Your local weather channel or weather-related web site regularly gives pollen counts for your area. When the counts are high, limit how much time you spend outdoors if you can.
    • Have someone else mow your grass when possible. 
    • Avoid wooded areas.
    • Close doors and windows, and use air conditioning during warmer months. Know that allergens can be circulated through the air conditioning's filter, though. If you have bad reactions to pollens, the use of air conditioning may not be wise if your flare-ups are severe.
    • Think about buying a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filter systems are very good at removing allergens from the air indoors.

    These ideas are often just the first step. For many people, the next is a talk with the doctor about allergy drugs to help relieve symptoms. Your doctor can recommend the correct meds to help prevent or treat that irritation or itchiness.

    Over-the-counter allergy meds can help if you have an eye allergy with mild symptoms. These drugs are usually less expensive than prescription ones and can clear up mild irritation. Eye drops usually contain antihistamines and decongestants that help calm your peepers down.

    Whichever medicine you take, be sure to follow the directions exactly as stated by the label or by your doctor. If you have any questions about your medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on May 07, 2016

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