Ah, the air finally starts to feel warmer, the days start to get longer, the trees start budding, and the pretty little flowers start blooming. It’s finally Spring! Yay! Oh but evil lurks….just when you breathed a sigh of relief that cold and flu season were over, BAM, allergies!

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunotherapy estimates roughly 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. While there may be those lucky ones who don’t suffer from seasonal allergies at all, for those of us who do, well, it’s not so fun! Basically, the body’s immune system does this cute little thing (insert sarcasm) where it overreacts, kind of like you may have this morning in traffic…., and it identifies a usually harmless substance as an allergen and produces antibodies called Immunogloblulin (IgE). These antibodies target cells that produce chemicals which then lead to your allergic reaction! Talk about a drama queen!

No matter what type of allergy one suffers from, it can be quite annoying! However, when it comes to the eyes, they can be especially irritating! Eye allergies, a.k.a. ocular allergies, a.k.a. conjunctivitis can be quite bothersome! Conjunctivitis can produce itchy, red, and swollen eyes which can become painful.

In order to avoid or at least lessen the overreaction from our immune systems, it’s important to be able to identify the triggers of these reactions. Pollen, pet dander, & mold spores are some of the more common allergens. As far as allergy relief is concerned, there are a variety of different things we can try to help manage our over reactive immune systems a bit better. Avoiding known allergens is a start, there are also the over the counter eye drops & antihistamines to help, as well as decongestants which can reduce blood vessel size even in the eye to relieve redness. Not to mention, sunglasses or regular eyeglasses can also help to prevent pollen & other allergens from reaching your eyes.

So, enjoy this spring and stock up on the eye drops and antihistamines, but above all, protect your eyes while outdoors. Next up, Dr. Kash has scoop on sun wear options to keep you protected and styling! Stay tuned!