If you suffer from allergies, you know what a mixed blessing springtime in Southern New Mexico can be. As the air starts to warm and the trees burst back to life, countless plants release pollen into the air, and our frequent springtime dust storms exacerbate the effect of these allergens. Although the most common symptoms of allergies include sneezing, sniffling, and congestion, the eyes can also become red, itchy, and swollen.


Eye allergies are a result of the body’s immune system misinterpreting an allergen as a more common threat, like a virus or infection. The mucous membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the whites of the eyes comes into contact with something that triggers the eye to release histamine and other substances, which make the eyes itchy and watery. This sort of reaction is also common with exposure to dogs and cats for some people. Regardless of the source, the reaction is generally miserable and is absolutely no fun for the sufferer!


To avoid allergic reactions in the eyes, you can try to isolate yourself from common environmental triggers by not going outside on windy days, or by wearing sunglasses to help block pollen. If that doesn’t work, over-the-counter and prescription medications can provide short-term relief, too. Use eye drops containing ketotifen for up to 12 hours of relief, or take a look at oral antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec. If these tactics don’t do the trick, you can talk to your doctor about prescribing specific eye drops that include combination antihistamine-mast cell stabilizers and corticosteroids.


If you’re one of the unlucky people that seem to battle allergies year-round, there are special sunglasses you can consider to help reduce itchy, red, watery eyes. Several companies offer specialized sunglasses, with unique form-fitting features that help shield your eyes from extraneous pollen and dust. Wrap-around frames that fit tightly against your skin can help block some of the allergens. There are also glasses with face-fitting inserts behind the frames that provide an even more secure seal between the skin and eyewear. The experts at Framed Optical welcome the opportunity to show you the latest choices in lenses and frames that can help reduce your exposure to allergens.


Speaking of stylish, functional frames, there’s something else that’ll make your eyes water right now, and it’s not pollen. For a limited time, Framed Optical is offering 35% OFF PRADA and DIOR frames – so if it’s time to upgrade your look, Framed Optical can help you select from some of the top, brand-name designer frames at unprecedented discounts.


And that’s nothing to sneeze at!