That feeling of having something in your eye is one of the most annoying sensations imaginable. And it’s a common occurrence. Oftentimes you try repeatedly to remove the irritant without success. That uncomfortable feeling in your eye can come generally in one of two ways: either allergens in the air or an infection such as pink-eye. Either way, the compulsion to “fix” your eye can cause further problems. The problem with continually touching your eye and eyelids is that it can exacerbate an allergic response or cause an infection that you will need to get treated. People who wear contacts are particularly susceptible to eye health issues.
Chances are you know when you have a problem with your eyes, allergic reaction or no.
The symptoms include itching, redness, sometimes swelling and almost always a watery discharge, which is your body’s way of ridding itself of the irritant.
Allergies are your body over-reacting to factors in the environment that simply don’t bother other people, and allergies are quite common. Some common causes of allergic reactions are pollen, pet dander, dust and more. And these factors exist inside and outside your home.
To protect against allergies and infections it is important to be proactive. In the home you can easily create a regimen that will reduce allergens and their effect. Step one is to clean regularly, it may surprise you to know that most of the dust in our houses come from our skin and, if we have them, our pets; so, keeping the household clean is a critical step. Next, a regular changing and washing of your bedding, and vacuuming of couches and furniture will help to further reduce allergens. Other methods are keeping the furnace filter and air ducts clean.
Several simple methods exist that will help minimize the effects of allergens on your body. There are over the counter medications and even eye drops that can mitigate the burning and itching sensations. Antihistamine eye drops can also help relieve itchy eyes for a while. Also consider that common over the counter antihistamines can be effective. There are also the artificial teardrops that can be used at any time to help with dry or itchy eyes. However, be aware that overuse of these products can actually be harmful in the long run. Read the instructions carefully and consult your doctor, who may be able to prescribe a more appropriate eye medication the effects of which can be monitored.
If your eyes are bothering you, it is important to refrain from touching them.
A washcloth soaked in warm water can provide comfort and may even help the episode to pass. Another method used in bygone days was to soak cotton balls in witch-hazel and place them on the eyelids – don’t open your eyes during this procedure.
The next time you visit your optometrist, you may want to ask for suggestions – they are as concerned about your eye health as you are. Visit Innovations in Eyecare if you need to schedule an appointment with an optometrist in the Centralia or Chehalis area.