Spring is in the air and so are high levels of pollen, mold, dust, and other irritants that make for miserable eyes! These airborne allergens may be the primary culprit of watery, itchy eyes, but relief could be closer than you think.

If spring is making you weepy, your eyes are telling you something. “Pay attention to your eyes,” explains Amy Treski, O.D., a VSP doctor at Optique Boutique in Lawrenceville, NJ. “Itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes and eyelids, are common allergy symptoms—itching being the most uncomfortable and swelling the most persistent symptom.” Dr. Treski suggests visiting your VSP doctor if symptoms are prolonged or get worse. Your doctor will be able to determine whether or not seasonal allergies are the problem.

DIY remedies for mild cases

For some immediate relief on days when your allergies are mild, try some do-it-yourself remedies.

    • Keep the windows shut in your car and home—especially in the early morning hours when pollination tends to occur.
    • Wear wrap-around glasses or sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
    • Place a cold compress over your eyes to soothe discomfort.
    • Use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to flush out any irritants.
    • Try an over-the-counter remedy like allergy eye drops, oral antihistamines, or other medication for mild allergies

Dr. Treski advises, “It’s important to note that OTC allergy eye drops can offer immediate relief, but with long-term use, they can weaken blood vessels in your eyes and make your eyes redder.”

What to do for severe allergies

Prescription drops may be the answer if you suffer from allergies with persistently intense symptoms. “There are prescription, dual-action medications that have a mast cell stabilizer and an antihistamine. This blocks the effects of allergens and quickly relieves itching to offer long-lasting relief,” says Dr. Treski. Check with your VSP doctor to determine the cause of your itchy, red eyes.

The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice.