Fall is a favorite season for many due to the cooler weather and changing leaves. But seasonal allergy sufferers often dread this time of year because of the allergens it brings with it. According to WebMD, almost a third of Americans have been afflicted with hay fever, which is usually triggered by a fall allergy to plant pollen like ragweed. Although ragweed affects the largest number of seasonal allergy sufferers in the fall, mold and dust mites can also trigger severe allergy reactions.
This year, meteorologists predict that the Southeast will have to endure an onslaught of allergies due to a warmer and wetter fall than normal. This climate often prolongs the allergy season with the continued growth of ragweed and mold.
Common symptoms seen in seasonal allergy sufferers are a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and irritated eyes. Patients with vision problems and seasonal allergies especially experience a dramatic increase in these symptoms.
Airborne allergens can severely aggravate the eyes at the best of times, but wearing contact lenses during the fall can worsen this irritation. Your contacts often act as a magnet for airborne allergens, causing your eyes to feel extremely itchy, dry and sometimes painful. Many sufferers feel as though they have no other choice than to switch to wearing their glasses to avoid eye irritation.
A solution to itchy, irritated eyes that seasonal allergy sufferers are beginning to turn to is LASIK surgery. While laser eye surgery and allergies might not initially appear related, many have found that it is the most effective and permanent solution for people who wear contacts or glasses and are suffering from allergies. While it wonâ€™t prevent you from experiencing seasonal allergies, LASIK surgery dramatically reduces and often eliminates the need for contacts or glasses.
It is important for you to disclose all allergy symptoms with Dr. Ashraf during your initial appointment. He will be able to determine the best solution for your allergy symptoms moving forward.
Here are a few temporary solutions for your comfort before you go in for your initial LASIK consultation:
- Restrict the amount of time you spend outside during high pollen count days
- Use eye drops or artificial tears to help your eyes feel less dry or irritated
- If you find that your eyes are hurting or itching, apply a cool washcloth to your eyes for relief
- Your homeâ€™s indoor air quality could be a significant contributor to your eye irritation due to dust mitesâ€”be sure that your filters and vents are cleaned properly
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