GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-Winter is still in the air but soon Spring will be here and with it pollen. Dr. Mark Lobanoff, ophthalmologist at North Suburban Eye Specialists, joined KARE 11 News @ 4 to discuss how to identify and treat spring eye allergy symptoms.

As the weather warms up, trees start budding, grass grows and pollen fills the air causing swollen, itchy eyes. The immune system releases antibodies to attack the allergens, which triggers the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood causing the allergy symptoms.

Other symptoms of spring allergies include watery, red or itchy eyes, dark circles under the eyes, sneezing, coughing, sniffling, and running or itchy nose.

To treat spring eye allergy symptoms, Dr. Lobanoff says to consider the following:

a. Start treatment before symptoms occur

b. Itchy/watery eyes can usually be treated with eye drops

c. Cool eye compresses may better appearance and reduce eye allergy symptoms

d. Wear big sunglasses to block pollen from entering your eyes and eyelids. This especially helps on windy days.

e. Wash your eyelids gently when you wash your face

f. Keep a pair of glasses at work

g. Follow proper care instructions for contacts. Cleaning them will help remove any pollen that may have stuck to them throughout the day.

h. Wash and clean regularly; this includes washing your hair, cleaning clothes and bedding, vacuuming

i. If the symptoms become too much to bear, visit your doctor or an allergist

If you suffer from eye allergy symptoms, don't exercise outside on high-pollen days. In addition, resist the urge to itch your eyes. This could cause more irritation and inflammation. It also helps to keep your windows closed during the spring months.

For more information, contact North Suburban Eye Specialists

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