Cherry Blossom Allergies
Cherry blossom allergies, eye strain and dry eye – Can I get it all at once?
Yes, sometimes life is rough
Springtime in Vancouver is a time for renewal and celebration, as cherry blossoms burst into bloom all across the city. But for some people, it’s also a time of misery, as the release of pollen from the blossoms triggers dry eyes and spring allergies. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who suffer from cherry blossom allergies, don’t despair! There are things you can do to manage your cherry blossom allergy symptoms, and still enjoy the season.
Stage 1: Early Spring Allergies
Cherry blossom allergies start when the trees begin to bloom in March. A small amount of pollen is released at this stage, which can cause mild symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. These symptoms may be mistaken for a common cold or flu, but they are indications of an allergic reaction to cherry blossoms.
Stage 2: Peak Bloom Allergies
In mid-to-late March, trees release most of their pollen, causing allergy symptoms to become more severe. Individuals may experience intense sneezing fits, a congested or runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and wheezing. Those with asthma or respiratory issues may find their symptoms are more pronounced.
Stage 3: Post-Bloom Allergies
The third and final stage happens after the blooms have fallen from the trees. Even though the pollen count decreases considerably, individuals may still experience residual allergy symptoms. This occurs from pollen that settles on surfaces, such as cars, sidewalks, and grass, and pollen that becomes airborne when disturbed.
Managing Your Cherry Blossom Allergies
When it comes to managing your cherry blossom allergies, there are several things you can do. First, consult with your local optometrist or allergist, who can recommend over-the-counter or prescription spring allergy medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, or eye drops. They may also suggest preventative measures such as wearing wrap-around sunglasses, avoiding outdoor activities during peak bloom periods, and practicing daily eyelid hygiene to reduce allergic conjunctivitis symptoms.
It’s also important to keep your home environment as pollen-free as possible. Close your windows and use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove pollen from the air. Try to stay indoors during peak bloom periods, especially on windy days when pollen counts are high.
By following these tips and working closely with your optometrist or allergist, you can manage your cherry blossom allergies and still enjoy the beauty of springtime in Vancouver. Don’t let spring allergies keep you from experiencing all the joys that the season has to offer!
Specific Symptoms & What to Do
Dry eyes are a common problem during spring allergies. Spring allergies can cause inflammation in the eyes, leading to dryness and discomfort. To combat this, try using preservative free lubricating eye drops or our #1 optometrist recommended preservative free dry eye gel drops to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Also, limit your exposure to spring allergens by keeping your windows closed and using an air purifier at home.
Eye strain is another issue that often arises during allergy season. When your eyes are constantly exposed to allergens, they can become tired and strained. To reduce eye strain, take frequent breaks from activities that require prolonged use of the eyes, such as near screens (cellphones, tablets and computers). Additionally, use good lighting and adjust your computer screen to reduce glare and eye strain.
Hay fever is a common symptom of cherry blossom allergies that can also affect the eyes. Itchy and watery eyes can be especially bothersome, but there are things you can do to alleviate allergy symptoms. Try using over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops or taking antihistamines orally to reduce the allergic reaction. Additionally, avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can make symptoms worse.
If you suffer from cherry blossom allergies, it’s essential to work with your optometrist or allergist to manage your symptoms effectively. They can provide personalized advice on managing your allergies and recommend medications or treatments that are suitable for your individual needs. By taking these steps, you can reduce your allergy symptoms, alleviate eye-related issues and enjoy the beauty of springtime in Vancouver without suffering.