Eye irritation can be extremely bothersome and frustrating. Between pain, irritation, or itching in our eyes, it can be almost unbearable. This is especially true in winter, when the air is driest and the conditions for seasonal dry eye are ripe.
As such, we took the liberty of putting together this little blog post to help our patients find relief. Below you will find 5 both natural and medicinal ways to reduce eye irritation.
To start things off, the best approach to reducing eye irritation and finally finding some relief is by avoiding what triggers it to begin with. For example, when outdoors during allergy season, wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes from allergens.
You may also want to consider beefing up the air filter in your furnace or setting up a portable air cleaner.
You may not have known, but, the surface of your contact lenses can attract airborne allergens. As such, you are more likely to experience eye irritation while using them.
Of course, you aren’t wearing your contacts for fun- they serve a purpose. We suggest that you consider wearing eyeglasses during allergy season to avoid attracting allergens.
Another possible alternative would be to switch to daily disposable contacts. By discarding your contacts daily, you can avoid the buildup of allergens and debris on your contact lenses.
Appropriately cleaning your contact lenses as directed can go a long way in reducing irritation associated with wearing them. Ensure you are using a quality cleaning solution and that you are not reusing old contact solution.
You may want to consider switching brands of cleaning solution if irritation persists.
Many brands of non-prescription eye drops are available at any pharmacy and are formulated to relieve itchiness, redness and watery eyes – all symptoms of allergies.
As they are both inexpensive and convenient, over-the-counter eye drops for eye irritation relief are one of the best solutions when your symptoms are relatively mild.
If you find the over-the-counter eye drops do not provide you with relief, our optometrist will be able to prescribe you a stronger eye drop or oral medication.
These medications vary from antihistamines to decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids. For more information on prescribed medications, visit our page on allergies.
Much like the name suggests, the method of reducing irritation involves building an immunity to eye irritants.
An allergy specialist will expose you to small amounts of allergens to allow your body to slowly build up an immunity. Afterwards, your eyes will be irritation free when exposed to these irritants.
This process can take months to show benefit, as it involves consistent exposure to small amounts of the allergen that your body reacts to.
Although helpful, this list is not a comprehensive list of all methods that can help reduce eye irritation. For more information, feel free to schedule an appointment with our optometrist to discuss your options in depth.