Summer time is indeed a time to relax. The season usually reminds us of vacations at the beach-side, lakes, water parks, and lots of fun. Amidst all this fun, summers also mean scorching heatwaves, air pollutants and allergens from grass, trees, and weeds. These combined sets of things can lead to eye allergies in summer. If you have sensitive eyes that easily fall prey to triggers, you must learn about some common summer eye allergies that you need to watch out. Here, Dr. Vikash Vaibhav, Senior Consultant at Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals shares summer eye problems and how to treat them at home.
What causes eye allergies in summer?
One can get an eye allergies due to air pollution, dust and heat wave during the summer months. Spring Catarrh or vernal conjunctivitis is a type of allergy seen in an individual's most commonly during summer months. It often occurs in people with a strong family history of allergies. These may include allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema. It is most common in young males, and most often occurs during the spring and summer.
Eye Allergies in Summer
Find below potential seasonal eye allergies that can happen in summers.
Also Read: 5 Practices to Prevent Redness in the Eyes
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis
General eye allergies, also called seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, are normally caused by something called an allergen. The seasonal form is associated with seasonal allergies that usually occur during the spring and summer months. Sometimes, exposure to pollen, grass and other airborne allergens causes seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
In summer season, when allergens in the environment come in contact with antibodies that are attached to mast cells in the eye. Histamine is then released from these cells that makes your blood vessels around the eyes leak. This phenomenon affects eyelids and conjunctiva that is the fine mucous membrane in the eyes protecting the eyes. Due to this leakage, your eyes become sensitive, red, itchy, burning and swollen.
Cataracts and Retinal damage
The sun’s scorching heatwave is extremely harmful to the eyes. Summertime exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiations can increase the risk of cataracts and retinal damage. It can also cause eye allergies, that include mild to severe redness, itchy eyes, swollen eyelids, water eyes, bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Due to excessive summer heat and direct exposure to harsh sunlight, your eyes may suffer from cataracts, ocular burns and macular degeneration which is generally associated with age-related wear and tear. In extreme cases, cancer of the eye can also be caused.
Summer eye care tips For Allergies
Now that you know what are the potential eye allergies you may get during the peak summer season, here are some eye care tips for summers by doctor. Make sure you follow them to protect your eyes:
- Wear sunglasses when stepping out even if the sunlight is not harsh or cloudy weather. UV rays can harm anyway.
- Consume foods rich in Vitamin A especially if you have a weak eyesight, wear lenses or frequently get eye problems.
- Wash your eyes multiple times a day with cold water to get rid of dirt, dust and bacteria.
- When you see any symptom of eye problem(s), consult an eye specialist.
Treatment of summer eye allergies
Treating eye allergies in summer is possible. It depends on the problem, what is causing it and how it is impacting your eyes. Either way, these allergies don’t need to haunt your eye health for long, so long as you seek treatment right away. The most common OTC treatments include using an eye drop that helps in eliminating bacteria and allergens. Secondly, taking oral antihistamine tablets that work to subside allergic symptoms including itching, swelling and redness. There are also a number of prescription treatments, such as antihistamine eye drops, mast cell stabilizer eye drops, NSAID eye drops, corticosteroid eye drops, non-sedating oral antihistamines, allergy shots and many more.
However, these are temporary solutions providing short-term relief. In order to aid the main issue, get it properly checked with an ophthalmologist.
In addition to those treatments, you can also keep your doors and windows closed in the home, wear glasses when outdoors, avoid rubbing the eyes, keep humidity levels low in the home, clean your home frequently, and wash your hands after petting an animal.
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