Springtime is here! It’s always lovely to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine after a long, cold winter, but for many people, this time of year also brings predictable, seasonal eye problems. Let’s take a look at some of the common issues that could affect your eyes this season, and the best way to protect your eyes this spring.
If you’re an active type and can’t wait to get out in the spring sunshine, always make sure your eyes are properly protected. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are harmful to the eyes, so invest in a good pair of UVA and UVB protective sunglasses. Sports like cricket and tennis can cause serious injury if the ball makes contact with your eye, so consider protective eyewear such as polycarbonate sports goggles.
Everything bursts into life at this time of year. That means an increased pollen count from grasses, weeds and trees, which can cause allergic symptoms such as red, irritated eyes and watery discharge. Just being outside also exposes you to more environmental irritants, too, like exhaust fumes, perfume and cigarette smoke. When your eyes react to these seasonal allergens, it’s known as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
So, what can you do about it? Taking preventative measures can help, so try to protect your eyes from environmental allergens by keeping your windows shut to keep the pollen out and wearing shades or spectacles when you go out. Antihistamines for seasonal allergies can also relieve your symptoms, and are available over the counter as eye drops or pills.
Dry eyes are another common issue for many people in the spring. Like the symptoms outlined above, this condition is often triggered by an increase in allergens in the atmosphere. If you’re experiencing redness, itchiness or a burning sensation in the eyes, it’s likely you are suffering from dry eyes.
You can take steps to prevent this common but unpleasant condition by wearing seasonal eye protection such as sunglasses and a hat when out and about. You could consider giving up contact lenses, which are notorious for causing dry eye symptoms. Spectacles or prescription sunglasses make a great alternative in the spring sunshine.
If you still experience dry eye symptoms, artificial tears add moisture to your eyes: ask your pharmacist to recommend some for you. Make sure that you stay well hydrated at all times by carrying a bottle of water when you’re out and about – dehydration can easily lead to dry eyes. Your diet can also play a part; Omega-3 supplements could help keep your eyes in good condition.
If dry eyes are as predictable for you as the first spring blossom, this time of year just won’t be enjoyable. But you may be able to take action to alleviate the problem. If you experience recurring dry eye symptoms, a specialist can investigate the causes and recommend treatment options.