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Scranton Wilkes Barre is one of the top 100 worst places in the United States for spring allergies.
As a 2013 Allergy Capital, the new list compiled by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America puts Scranton in the number fifty (50) position down from forty four (44) in 2012.
By: Engle Eyewear
If you are experiencing asthma, hay fever, and eye allergies, be sure to check with your physician and eye care professional for the best remedies for your particular symptoms. Eye allergies are often hereditary, and occur due to processes associated with other types of allergic responses. When an allergic reaction takes place, your eyes may be overreacting to a substance perceived as harmful, even though it may not be. These substances are called allergens. For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause excessive production of tears and mucus in eyes of overly sensitive, allergic individuals. Allergies can trigger other problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and asthma. Combined nasal and eye allergies create a condition known as rhinoconjunctivitis. ” Approximately thirty (30) to fifty (50) percent of U.S. residents experience allergy symptoms. Moreover, about seventy five (75) percent of those symptoms affect the eyes” according to Thomas Engle, Board Certified Optician. Common signs of allergies include:
· Itchy, red eyes and swollen eyelids
· Runny nose
· Sneezing and coughing
· Itchy nose, mouth or throat
· Headache from sinus congestion
Beyond more obvious symptoms, you may also feel fatigued and could suffer from lack of sleep. Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eye drops also may cause eye allergies.
The most common "treatment" is to avoid what is causing your eye allergy. Keep your home free of pet dander and dust and keep pets off the furniture. Stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. Use high quality furnace filters that trap common allergens and replace the filters frequently. Make sure you wear wraparound sunglasses to help shield your eyes from allergens, and drive with your windows closed during allergy season.
If you're not sure what's causing your eye allergies, or you are not having any luck avoiding them, your next step probably will be medication to alleviate the symptoms. Eye drops are available as simple eyewashes, or they may have one or more active ingredients such as antihistamines, decongestants, or mast cell stabilizers that inhibit inflammation. Antihistamines relieve many symptoms caused by airborne allergens, such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Decongestants help shrink swollen nasal passages for easier breathing. Some people are actually allergic to the preservatives in over the counter eye drops such as those used to lubricate dry, red eyes. Preservative-
Even if you are generally a successful contact lens wearer, allergy season can make your contacts uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort. Allergens also can stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears, which can bind to your contacts and cause blur and additional discomfort. Pollen maps can help you determine when allergens are present. Ask your eye doctor about eye drops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Certain drops can discolor or damage some lenses, so it makes sense to ask first before trying out a new brand.
Consider this self-test to see if you might have eye allergies. Always consult your eye care professional if you suspect you have an eye condition needing care.
· Do allergies run in your family?
· Do your eyes often itch, particularly during spring pollen season?
· Have you ever been diagnosed with "pink eye" (conjunctivitis)?
· Are you allergic to certain animals, such as cats?
· Do you often need antihistamines and/or decongestants to control sneezing, coughing and congestion?
· When pollen is in the air, are your eyes less red and itchy when you stay indoors under an air conditioner?
· Do your eyes begin tearing when you wear certain cosmetics or lotions, or when you are around certain strong perfumes?
If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, then you may have eye allergies. Make an appointment with your physician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist to determine the best course of action.