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During allergy season many Canadians struggle with their eyes. The good news is the availability of treatments and self-help strategies to ease the symptoms. Here are some tips from Canadian doctors of optometry to help you cope:
1. Steer Clear: Minimize or eliminate contact with allergy triggers. For example, stay indoors when pollen counts are at their peak (mid-morning and early evening) or when it’s really windy outside.
2. Stay Cool: Holding a clean face cloth soaked in ice-cold water over closed eyes for 5-10 minutes will reduce itchiness.
3. Faux tears: Non-prescription artificial tear eye drops can provide relief, especially if they are stored in the refrigerator to keep them cold.
4. Squeaky Clean: Clean floors with a damp rag or mop rather than dry dusting or sweeping.
5. Be a Star: When heading outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to help prevent pollen from blowing into your eyes.
6. Dust buster: Keep furnace filters and air conditioners clean to keep mites and dust at bay.
7. Lock it out: Close your car windows when driving.
8. Dispose of lenses: Pollen sticks to moist surfaces and contact lenses are one of them. Switch to daily disposables during allergy season.
9. Curb the urge: Don’t rub or touch your eye, this will only make it worse.
10. Talk to your doctor of optometry: If symptoms persist or get worse, book an appointment to learn about treatments that are best suited to you.
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