RAWALPINDI: Pollen allergy results in burning of the eyes and other symptoms, and the Al-Shifa Trust suggests safety measures can help avoid the effects of pollen allergies, such as wearing sunglasses for people living in twin cities.

The ophthalmologist at Al-Shifa Trust, Dr. Tayyab Afghani, stated that the springtime brings an extremely high pollen count, which can cause burning and redness in the eyes.

He said that eye allergies can cause watery and puffy eyes, but the same remedies and self-care techniques that relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies also work for eye allergies.

In addition to sneezing and a stuffy, runny nose, the symptoms can include red eyes, irritation, itching, tearing or runny eyes, swollen eyelids, soreness, burning, or pain, he added.

Dr. Tayyab Afghani said that ocular allergies result from the body overreacting to an allergen, just like any other allergy. The immune system produces antibodies that release histamine and other chemicals from the eyes, causing red, watery eyes and irritation.

Typically, seasonal allergies occur in early spring, during the summer, and into the fall. He informed that allergens in the atmosphere, such as spores from mold and pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds, are known as triggers.

He claimed that aside from causing momentary blurriness, ocular allergies, commonly known as allergic conjunctivitis or eye allergies, do not significantly endanger vision.

In many cases, symptoms appear as soon as the allergen comes into contact with the eyes.

According to Dr. Tayyab Afghani, the first step is to try to avoid triggers by staying inside during high pollen count periods, which are often mid-morning and early evening.

In order to protect their eyes from pollen, people should drive with their windows closed and wear large sunglasses or eyeglasses.

He said people frequently use eye drops to treat severe, chronic ocular allergies. However, prolonged use of these drops can lead to negative effects; therefore, it is advisable to use them temporarily.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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