Itching and watering: 7 ways to handle springtime eye allergies

Spring is here! As you enjoy the warmer weather, you may notice that your eyes begin to water or feel like they’re burning. Chances are you may have seasonal eye allergies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 30% of the general population suffers from allergic conjunctivitis, otherwise known as eye allergies. Symptoms can include red, watery, swollen or itchy eyes.

While you can’t stop seasonal allergies, there are ways you can handle these symptoms. Read on to see seven ways you can manage springtime eye allergies.

1. Beware of pollen

Pollen can irritate your eyes and set off other allergy symptoms. When the pollen count is high, stay indoors and shut all windows and doors. If you must leave home, change your clothing and shower to rinse pollen from your hair and body.

2. Deep clean places you spend the most time

During spring, pollen and other allergens can make their way into your home. Make sure you regularly deep clean spaces where you spend the most time in your home. A couple of times a week, make sure to vacuum or sweep and mop floors and wipe down counters, tables and other surfaces with a wet cloth.

3. Wash your hands regularly

As you go about your day, indoors and outdoors, your hands will naturally pick up allergens. Wash your hands regularly throughout the day to reduce your exposure to pollen and other allergens. Also, avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes even after washing your hands.

4. Ensure you’re properly hydrated

Studies suggest that your body produces more histamine, the chemical responsible for allergy symptoms, when you’re dehydrated. Also, if you use decongestants to manage allergy symptoms, you’re also drying out your body. Make sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day to encourage yourself to drink more water.

5. Wear your sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses outdoors can help reduce your allergy symptoms. By wearing sunglasses, you prevent pollen, other allergens and airborne particles from making direct contact with your eyes. When you go on a walk, garden or enjoy the outdoors this spring, wear a pair to reduce eye irritation.

6. Use artificial eye drops

No matter how careful you are, you may still experience eye allergy symptoms. When your eyes feel itchy or swollen, make sure to have a bottle of artificial eye drops on hand. There are many different types of eye drops. Some contain antihistamines, decongestants or a combination to help relieve itchy, watery eyes. Read product descriptions carefully to find the one to best manage your eye allergy symptoms.

7. Schedule your annual eye exam

If you suffer from seasonal eye allergies, this spring may be the perfect time for an eye exam. An eye doctor can help diagnose your eye allergy symptoms, prescribe medicated eye drops if needed and recommend other forms of care if needed.

Need help finding a local eye doctor? VSP vision insurance can help. VSP has the largest doctor network, so you can find a doctor quickly and schedule an eye exam this spring. Find an eye doctor near you and schedule your exam today.

If you don’t have vision insurance, you can enroll in a VSP individual vision plan anytime. There’s no need to wait for open enrollment or a waiting period. VSP members can save 20% on additional glasses or sunglasses, including lens enhancements, from a VSP network doctor within 12 months of their last exam. To learn more and find the best vision plan for you, visit

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