In the United States, 40 percent of children and 30 percent of adults suffer from allergies, reports All About Vision. Most often, this comes with sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose, although symptoms affecting the eyes, including itchiness, tearing, redness, and swollen eyelids, are also common. To keep your kids free from eye allergies, it is important to know both how to prevent allergies and how to provide relief from symptoms.
Avoiding Eye Allergies in Kids
Certain substances are harmless to most people but act as allergens to others. The most common cause of eye allergies are airborne materials such as pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander, however, even cosmetics, eye drops, and artificial tears can cause allergies.
If you notice that your child is susceptible to one or more of these allergens, your best choice is to limit exposure. For instance, for pollen allergies, stay inside when pollen counts are high with the air conditioner running. For a problem with dust or mold, use a high-quality furnace filter, and change it often.
- Never allow kids to rub their eyes; this will only make symptoms worse.
- Allergens can quickly build up on contact lenses and lead to discomfort. For children that use contacts on a regular basis, it may be better to switch to daily disposables or to eyeglasses during the allergy season.
- For mild symptoms, over-the-counter eye drops may be sufficient to wash allergens from eyes; just make sure you find a brand that does not aggravate symptoms.
- For more severe symptoms, your child may need prescription medication such as an antihistamine, decongestant, mast cell stabilizer, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids. Your doctor will prescribe the most suitable treatment.
- You may also like to consider visiting an allergy specialist for immunotherapy. The treatment involves injections of small quantities of allergens to help your child gain immunity to the allergen over time.
A great way allergy suffers can find relief from eye allergies and still spend time outdoors is to wear wraparound sunglasses. You can a range of styles for children in the Real Kids collection.