Pollen and itching, burning eyes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Pollen and itching, burning eyes

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ATLANTA - After an unusually cold and wet winter, Georgians are more than ready for warm weather and outdoor activities.

Spring has finally arrived, bringing blooming flowers, visits to the golf course, and, oh yes -- don¹t forget the pollen. 

With pollen counts rising by the day, it is not surprising that many people are suffering from itching, redness and burning around their eyes.

Not only is this uncomfortable, but people can experience changes in their vision‹ particularly for contact lens wearers‹as a result of increased mucous and drying of the lenses. 

Changes such as these are not unusual during the spring and fall seasons. 

"Complaints about eye irritations increase dramatically when pollen season arrives," says Dr. Horace Deal, president of the Georgia Optometric Association.  "Pollen causes the tissues on and around the eye to swell and release substances called histamines in the eye, which makes them itch."

Dr. Deal and the Georgia Optometric Association offer the following tips to help people with their eye and vision problems during this pretty, but difficult, time of the year.

If you wear contact lenses, wear them less often and use glasses instead.

If you insist on wearing your contacts, clean them daily and disinfectthe lens.  You may also wish to consider using daily disposable lenses during the pollen season.

Reduce swelling and itching of the eyes by applying cold compresses,such as an ice pack or clean towels soaked in cold water.

If itching, redness and discomfort of the eyes persist you may want to visit your optometrist for a prescription to alleviate the discomfort or for a more thorough evaluation.

Source: Georgia Optometric Association

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