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Reduce Pollen-Induced Eye Irritation

Simple steps can reduce the redness

SATURDAY, June 15, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Do your eyes a favor this pollen season and take some simple steps to prevent them from becoming irritated.

Grass pollen season is just hitting its stride in much of the country, followed by ragweed later in the summer. Both can be especially irritating to your eyes if you suffer from allergies.

Instead of walking around looking like you've been watching a tear-jerker movie marathon, follow these tips from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colo.

  • Wash your hands. They gather pollen that collects on outdoor surfaces. You can transfer that pollen from your hands when you rub your eyes.
  • Use a saline rinse. Artificial tears are also good to remove or dilute the pollen grains.
  • Wear sunglasses, which act like a windshield to reduce the amount that gets into your eyes. You can also close the windows in your house and car and use the air conditioner.
  • Use cold compresses. A bag of frozen vegetables or a moist washcloth that has spent a brief time in the freezer can reduce swelling and itching when you apply them to your eyes.
  • And use allergy medicines to reduce your suffering.

More information

How much do you know about allergies -- what causes them and who gets them? This page from the The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology can answer most of your questions.

SOURCE: News release, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, May 2002
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