The Clearview Blog
Overcoming Your Autumn Eye Allergies
November 18, 2014
Autumn – there’s something about it that is so magical. Whether it’s the changing colours of the leaves, the perfect sweater weather, or the pumpkin spice lattes, fall is definitely one of our favourite times of the year. However, if you’re one of the many people that suffer from autumn eye allergies, you probably have a very different opinion about it. Do you want to get back to taking Instagram photos of pumpkin patches and very large coffee cups like the rest of your friends? Then you’ll definitely want to give our eye allergy walkthrough a read.
Know Your Triggers
One of the biggest parts of staying ahead of your eye allergies is knowing what triggers them. Know your enemy – and know how to avoid it! Eye allergies are caused by your immune system improperly reacting to stimuli, so you need to figure out what is causing your sniffle-inducing chain reactions.
Allergies can be caused by a ton of different factors that are actually rather innocuous on their own. When your body detects an allergen, it floods your system with histamine which can inflame the blood vessels in your eyes. This leads to those dry, itchy eyes that totally aren’t the most annoying thing ever.
What Am I Allergic to?
While allergies vary from person to person, there are some causes that are more common in the fall and might be the source of your problem.
- Ragweed: This bad boy is one of the usual suspects when it comes to allergies. In fact, you probably remember some instance of small talk when someone has suggested it must be ragweed when you complain about allergies. You probably have just responded with sure because you really wanted the conversation to end and would’ve rather rode the bus in peace, but did you ever think about what ragweed actually is? Of course you haven’t, some say that no one ever has. Ragweed is a yellow/green weed that you’ve probably seen springing up between cracks in the sidewalk; it usually appears in the late summer months and continues well into the winter.
- Dust Mites: These pesky critters just mite be the cause of your allergies. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that munch on dead skin, dust, and other dirt around your house. They are a common allergen since they are pretty much everywhere. You can’t see them or feel them though – so don’t freak out!
- Mold and Mildew: You’ve definitely heard of household mold – this buildup of fungus occurs in any wet or damp environment (meaning that it is especially common in washrooms and basements). During the fall, mold can spring up in decaying piles of leaves of and compost after rainfalls. The wet, dirty environment is the perfect recipe for it to thrive.
- Pets: Shedding pets are detrimental to more than just your favourite pair of black jeans. The fur and dead skin that your cat and dog spread all over your house can trigger your allergies, leaving your eyes red and uncomfortable. You can’t get mad at your pets though, they’re so cute!
How Can I End the Madness?
So you’re at your wits’ end with your itchy eyes – we understand. Let’s cut to the chase: How can you finally get relief from the intense discomfort of fall eye allergies?
- Protect Yourself: If you’re going to be outside performing an activity that will probably rustle up some unwelcome allergens, you might want to consider wearing some protective clothing. A facial mask while gardening can easily block pollen from entering your body. Sunglasses can also protect your eyes from pollen less conspicuously.
- Be Aware: Weather channels regularly report on pollen counts and send out alerts when common allergens are more active. Keep track of these and react accordingly.
- Wash: Practice regular hygiene and keep yourself clean – and your pets! Wash out your hair at the end of the day and rinse your pet’s fur as often as possible to keep your house free of dander and allergens that could be giving you grief.
- Clean: Keep your home clean. Although this might not be a cure-all, even for your household allergens, it doesn’t hurt to dust and mop your space regularly.
- Get Treatment: Try taking over-the-counter allergy medication or consult with a medical professional if your symptoms are extremely bothersome.
Have any more questions about your seasonal allergies? Contact us!