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Spring is finally here! Yes, the buds on the trees are bursting with beauty and fragrance, the bright daffodils are opening up, and patches of color are evident as you drive around town. Like most, the mild weather moves you to open up your windows to let the fresh air in, and maybe even attempt spring cleaning or that landscaping project you had been putting off. But with the renewal of life brought by spring comes another inevitable side effect of the season: allergies.

Airborne allergens such as house dust, animal dander, and mold can cause ocular allergies at any time of the year- but when spring rolls around plant pollen seems to be everywhere, constantly bombarding the eyes and causing everyone to experience allergic reactions.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergic eye problem.

Take preventative measures: make every effort to avoid allergens. An allergist can help determine what you are allergic to so you can stay away. Completely avoiding outdoor pollen may be impossible, but remaining indoors in the morning when the pollen levels are highest may help control symptoms. If you are allergic to house dust, open windows and keep household filters clean.

What You Can Do To Alleviate Your Discomfort:

  • Cool compresses decrease swelling and itching.
  • Artificial tears dilute the allergens and form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye.
  • Various antihistamine and decongestant drops and sprays can soothe irritated eyes and nose.
  • Rubbing the eyes makes symptoms worse and should be avoided.

If seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, make an appointment with one of our doctors – we will ensure symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem before prescribing one of the many new, safe, and effective anti-allergy drops.

The majority of the workforce today spends an enormous time staring at a computer screen. At work it is a requirement and at home it doesn’t stop – we always seem to be connected via computer monitor, smartphone, or tablet. As the hours of eye strain stack up, it’s no surprise that our eyes are not very happy at the end of the work day. Symptoms of eye strain are eye irritation (red, watery, or dry eyes), eye fatigue (tired, aching heaviness of the eyelids, or forehead), difficulty in focusing, and headaches. Luckily eye strain does not result in permanent eye damage, but you should still take steps to avoid the discomfort.

Eye strain, backache, and muscle spasms can also improve with proper arrangement of the computer screen and seating area – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides helpful suggestions on how you can arrange your workspace to minimize pain.

How does your personal workstation stack up to the recommended setup? Do you sit with proper posture and remember to change positions, stretch, and take breaks?

In addition to maximizing the ergonomics of your physical work space, you should lubricate your eyes by blinking frequently or using artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) and keep your work area clean to minimize eye irritation from dust. Standard office lighting may be too bright for comfortable computer use, so minimize glare on screens by adjusting office lights or using hoods or filters on monitors. Above all, you should be wearing the appropriate prescription for computer work. Make an appointment today to have your prescription adjusted to minimize discomfort.

Most people don’t realize that routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or your physical health.

During a comprehensive eye exam, the doctors at Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates do much more than just determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. They also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Be proactive with your health by scheduling a routine eye exam. Often, eye physicians can detect chronic systemic diseases during an exam – such as high blood pressure and diabetes – before primary care doctors have the opportunity.Additionally, many serious eye conditions show no symptoms until it is too late:

  • Glaucoma, also known as “the silent thief,” causes no pain or noticeable change in vision during the early stages of the disease. It can strike at any age, and if left unchecked can lead to blindness.
  • Macular degeneration (loss of central vision) takes years to develop, but early signs can be discovered during a routine exam and then closely monitored.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is the name given to diabetes’ adverse affects on the blood vessels in the eye. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults.

Staying current with your eye exams will not only help prevent serious eye conditions in the future, but can also reveal health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Call Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates today to schedule your routine checkup!