Ocular Conditions

Autumn: The Second Allergy Season

With summer coming to a close, it’s time for us get back in the swing of regular blog posts.   Autumn also signals some other events:  relief from the hot weather, shorter days,  and  weekends filled with football.  Surprisingly, the season also brings about allergies.   

Typically, it is the various types of grasses that create the fall allergy season.   And although it isn’t quite as severe as the blanketing pollen from flowers and trees in the spring, it can stilll wreak havoc on many of Hampton Road’s residents.    And as I wrote this past spring in a blog post, it doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the outdoors during this beautiful time of year.

There are some ways to help.    After spending time outdoors, be sure to take a shower and change into new clothes.   Also, artificial tears such as Systane Ultra can help wash allergic material from the surface of the eye and provide temporary soothing of the eyes.    A cool compress may also help calm and sooth the eyes.    Also, and this may be the toughest advice to follow, try not to rub your eyes.   This further exposes your eyes to pollen on your hands and exacerbates the histamine response

Over-the-counter allergy medicines like claritin or zyrtec may be helpful in relieving nasal symptoms of seasonal allergies but they may not be as effective in controlling the redness and itchiness of the eyes.   In that case, prescription allergy eye drops provide quick and effective relief.    The most effective allergy eye drops are “combination” drops which act to control both the mast cells and the histamines released by those cells.   Also, these prescription allergy eye drops are very safe in most patients and may be used for extended periods of time to get relief from seasonal allergies.

Enjoy the welcome break from this summer’s heat!