With warm weather quickly approaching Wisconsin, families are ready to welcome the wonders of spring like green grass and beautiful blooming flowers back to the Midwest. However, the new breath of life for Mother Nature can quickly turn into frustration for allergy sufferers. With outdoor allergens like plant pollen and mold spores floating around un-welcomed reactions like allergic conjunctivitis start to rise.
You may have heard the term conjunctivitis, or “pink eye” in relationship to a bacterial infection most often occurring in children, but the same irritation and inflammation of the eyelid tissue (conjunctiva) can occur when allergens like pollen or mold spores enter the eyes. Commonly called “hay fever” when referring to allergic conjunctivitis, symptoms include red and swollen inner eyelids, itchy and watery eyes, dry and irritated eyes, a scratchy feeling when blinking, and blurry vision (coupled with the previous symptoms).
Allergic conjunctivitis can be caused by plants like flowers and tree pollen in the early spring, grass pollen in late spring and early summer, and by hay fever from weed pollen in late summer. Mold spores, like those in soil, rotting wood, and other plants also becomes airborne in the summer into the fall and can result in allergic reactions like congestion and conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis is not infectious, but if you are unsure of whether you are experiencing a bacterial or allergic reaction, it’s best to visit your local urgent care provider, like Popcare+, to implement a quick relief plan and insure that you are not risking the health of those around you.
As always, avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, thoroughly clean contact lenses or dispose of them as instructed, and launder pillowcases and linens regularly, especially during the spring and summer months.
Pollen and mold spores tend to travel more on hotter, dryer, and windier days, so if you are one who suffers the effects of allergic conjunctivitis or “hay fever,” keep an eye on the weather and lessen your time outdoors or keep your windows closed on these days to decrease your symptoms. Allergic conjunctivitis can easily be managed by avoiding allergen triggers, by utilizing over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, and with allergy shots to provide more long-term allergic conjunctivitis and rhinitis relief.
If you feel that you’re suffering from allergic conjunctivitis, please stop into Popcare+ Urgent Care Clinic today.