Southern Spring Pollen… This Too, Shall Pass
Southerners don’t need an official date on the calendar to let them know that Spring has arrived. A thick coating of yellow-green pollen announces the Spring Equinox – making Columbus look like the Emerald City of Oz! Coating our cars, sticking to the condensation on windows of our homes, creating a layer of sludge in every bird bath and puddle… the pollen is here! This is great news for car washes, but for allergy sufferers it can mark the beginning of a period of itching, red, and tearing eyes.
Allergy sufferers can find some comfort in knowing that when it comes to pollen…. this too, shall pass. Until then, here are some tips for some relief from allergic eye symptoms:
- Wear Sunglasses or Eyeglasses! Glasses not only protect you from UV light rays; they are also a barrier for pollen. Pollen can get caught in the tear film under contact lenses and worsen symptoms, but eyeglasses may provide some barrier function.
- Choose the best time for prolonged outdoor exposure by monitoring the local pollen counts. These are provided by local weather forecasts and other online sources, or you can just let the dog in and see how yellow he/she looks…
- Help reduce exposure to pollen when you are indoors. Screens in springtime are nice, but keeping windows and doors closed can limit pollen from blowing in (This applies to car windows, too!) Also, remove outer clothing like jackets, hats and shoes at the entrance of your home before spreading pollen to the inside rooms.
- Shower after prolonged time outdoors or before going to bed to wash away the day’s coating of pollen.
- Frequently use artificial tears, which can help rinse the eyes and reduce pollen contact time. This reduces the body’s need to produce histamines, etc. which cause symptoms.
- Try over-the-counter allergy eye drops the first thing every morning to prevent histamine release. Zyrtec and other oral allergy meds can help as well.
- Try cold compresses which reduce inflammatory responses. Wim Hof anyone…!?
Following these tips should help you reduce your pollen exposure and allergic symptoms. If those itching, burning and tearing eyes are not adequately controlled, then West Georgia Eye Care Center physicians and staff can help with management. 706-323-3491.
We’re here for you if the pollen ‘blows you away’ this year!