It's springtime, and, like every year, you know that your eyes and nose are going to act up as pollen in the air causes your body to overreact. There are ways to avoid the annoyance of recurring hay fever and the accompanying eye and nasal symptoms that are common signs of allergy. You can go to an allergist for testing, to identify your personal allergen foes and try to avoid them. When you are at home, you can run the air conditioner and have the HEPA filter on to reduce the number of allergens indoors. You can try to avoid being outdoors when the pollen counts are high, especially in the morning. Wash your hair every day, to get the pollen out, and clean your skin and clothes. These are basic rules of prevention, but they aren't foolproof, of course. Once those allergy symptoms start, there are home remedies to soothe your eyes and clear out your sinuses, as well as over-the-counter medications or stronger prescription medication for more severe symptoms.
Prescription corticosteroids block allergic reactions. They can be taken in pill form, nasal spray, eye drops or topical cream as a preventative measure or as treatment of inflammation. Eye drops may cause blurred vision and are not recommended for prolonged use. They are usually used for short-term treatment of more severe cases of allergic reactions, with varying degrees of side effects. Another type of medication used to treat allergy is antihistamine. Antihistamines block the production of histamine that the body releases to fight off allergens. Histamines are the chemicals that cause the inflammatory reactions in allergies. Eye drops reduce the redness, itching and swelling for several hours, and can be used several times a day. Sometimes a combination of eye drops and pills are prescribed. Artificial tears dilute the histamines in the eye and help wash them out together with the allergen. They are safe to use often and offer relief for dry eyes, as well.