Allergy Season Affects 40 Million Americans
LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Many Kentuckians are suffering this allergy season from red, swollen or itchy eyes. The allergens in the air during spring and early summer can cause allergy sufferers to dread seemingly simple activities, like taking your child for a walk outdoors. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 40 million Americans have indoor/outdoor allergies, and of that 40 million, approximately four percent suffer from allergies of the eye.
Airborne allergens such as pollen, mold, dust or pet dander can wreak havoc on your eyes, making this time of year almost unbearable. Most individuals with sensitivity to grass, weed or tree pollen suffer from allergic conjunctivitis which is the most common eye allergy. Eye allergies develop when your immune system is low or compromised, leading to a reaction to that allergen. What causes eye allergies, you may ask? When an allergen comes into contact with your eyes, your eyes release histamine or other chemicals that cause them to swell, become itchy, red and watery.
"Over the years, I have seen numerous patients suffering from eye allergies," said Dr. Mark Lynn, owner/operator of more than 45 Dr. Bizer's VisionWorld and Doctor's VisionWorks and Doctor's ValuVision in four states. "I would like to offer a few tips for people to take into consideration to help prevent some symptoms of eye allergies so they can enjoy the outdoors this spring."
The best solution is to try to avoid coming in contact with those allergens. On days with a high pollen count, stay inside with the air conditioner to help filter out those allergens. If you go outside, wear wraparound sunglasses to help shield your eyes from the pollen and drive with your windows rolled up. Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes and always remember to wash your hands to remove any potential pollen you may have come in contact with. If you suffer from allergies to mold, dust mites or pet dander, you can also take steps such as keeping the humidity low in your house or using a dehumidifier to reduce molds. Wash bed linens frequently in hot water to rid them of pet hair and mites. Clean floors, bathrooms, kitchens and other surfaces regularly with a damp rag rather than a dry dusting to rid your home of dust and dander particles.
Despite best efforts to avoid coming in contact with allergens such as pollen, mold and pet dander, many people may still suffer eye allergy symptoms.
"As an optometrist for more than 25 years, I recommend making an appointment with an eye care professional if your eye allergy symptoms persist," said Dr. Lynn. "Your optometrist will be able to help treat the condition with prescription medication, such as medicated eye drops or oral medication."
There are a variety of prescription eye drops which can be used to treat allergy symptoms. Antihistamine eye drops can reduce itching, redness and swelling for quick relief. Mast cell stabilizers can prevent the release of histamines in your eyes which cause the allergy symptoms in the first place. The newest available eye drops to help treat and prevent eye allergies have a combination of antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers.
If you are a contact lens wearer, allergy season can cause discomfort. Pollen and other allergens can often get on your lenses causing irritations. Check with your optometrist about proper eye drops to help flush your eyes and keep your contacts clean. Not all drops are suitable for contacts. Perhaps consider daily disposable contacts. By replacing your contacts daily, you can avoid irritating build up on your lenses.
If you are unsure if you suffer from eye allergies here are a few questions to consider:
- Do allergies run in your family?
- Do your eyes often itch, especially during spring months when pollen counts are high?
- Are you allergic to animals such as cats or dogs?
- Do you find relief from red or itchy eyes when you stay indoors?
These are all characteristics of eye allergies and you should consult your optometrist for proper diagnosis and a treatment plan. There is no reason to suffer season after season due to eye allergies when treatment options are available. Take control of your allergy problems and get outside this spring and summer.
About Dr. Mark Lynn and Associates PLLC
Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates PLLC, or Mark Lynn O.D. & Associates PC, owns and/or operates more than 45 Dr. Bizer's Vision World, Doctor's VisionWorks and Doctor's ValuVision offices in Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana. Offering high-quality designer and exclusive brand frames, lenses, contact lenses, accessories, sunglasses and the leading technology in vision correction at competitive prices. In addition, nearly all our stores provide one-hour service on most prescriptions by utilizing on-site processing laboratories. For more information, visit www.drbizersvisionworld.com or www.drbizersvaluvision.com
SOURCE Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates PLLC