It’s getting to be that time of year again – when most allergy sufferers find their seasonal allergies kicking into full swing. The reason why springtime allergies hit us so hard in San Diego is the timing of plant reproduction cycles – it’s when the most pollen is in the air. Wind pollinated trees (such as oak and pine) tend to release their pollens between February and May and wind pollinated grasses release their pollens between March and October. At the end of May, ragweed and other weed plants are active, producing copious amounts of pollen – keeping allergy sufferers in agony until the end of autumn. Because wind-pollinated species of plants produce the highest volume of pollen, April and May tend to be peak allergy months.
Eye allergies, also known as “allergic conjunctivitis,” tend to be chronic, and flare up during periods of heavy pollen, dust, and other allergen exposure. Common allergic conjunctivitis symptoms are: itchiness, watery eyes/tearing, redness, swelling of the eye tissues and eye area, and eye irritation. These symptoms can cause significant discomfort, blur vision, and cause problems with contact lens wear.
To minimize the impact of eye allergies:
- Do not touch or rub the eyes.
- Wash hands frequently with soap.
- Wash bed linens/pillowcases in hot water.
- Reduce contact lens wear time or consider switching to daily disposable contact lenses.
- Wash hair at night to prevent pollen from lodging in your pillows/blankets (allergens can get trapped in hair during the day, causing morning symptoms).
- See your eye doctor for prescription strength eye drops and other recommendations that can reduce (and sometimes prevent) the allergic response.
Grand Vision Optometry uses the most advanced technology to ensure superior vision health diagnostic and treatment excellence. Additionally, because we believe in compassionate eye care, we will take every measure to provide your vision and eye health care in a pleasant, soothing atmosphere.
-Dr. Mika Fu