As part of National Indoor Allergy Week, the College of Optometrists has developed some simple tips to keep itchy eyes at bay this winter.
Francesca Marchetti from the College of Optometrists advises: “There’s nothing worse than itchy, sore eyes and often they are caused by allergies. There are things you can do to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and your optometrist can advise whether symptoms such as irritation or redness are an allergic reaction or an infection or other eye condition.
"Allergic symptoms should disappear once you are away from the environment that is causing them, so that’s a good way to identify the problem. These tips can also help make life a little more comfortable."
If you are entering an environment that may cause an allergic reaction (eg a home with pets), take a preventative antihistamine before you go.
Avoid carpeted areas or soft furnishings that may harbour pet hairs or dust mites.
Tiled floors and furniture without fabrics are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before rubbing itchy eyes.
An allergic reaction won’t damage your eyes or your contact lenses, but contact lenses can make your eyes feel more sensitive so swap to your glasses.
Symptoms can be alleviated with anti-allergic eye drops - your optometrist can advise if they are ok to use while wearing lenses
Soothe itchy eyes with preservative free lubricating eye drops.