Woman rubbing her eyes because of pollen allergy during spring.

Managing Dry Eye and Spring Allergies


Eye Health | by Dr. Anita Narang

Spring in Victoria, BC, is a spectacle across Canada with cherry blossoms emerging in iconic shades of pink and white. However, this charming transition brings a less welcomed companion—an increase in pollen levels. You, like me, might experience how this can exacerbate our seasonal dry eye and allergies. As we welcome the season, understanding and proactively managing these conditions becomes essential to enjoying our beautiful spring.

Navigating Spring: A Pollen Problem

While cherry blossoms are the most visible sign of spring around Victoria, they’re just one of many pollen sources contributing to seasonal discomfort. Grass, tree, and weed pollens also peak during this time—in far less dramatic fashion but no less problematic. You can monitor daily pollen counts the same way we might watch for snow over winter, on The Weather Network.

When Allergies Meet Dry Eyes

During allergy season, individuals with pre-existing dry eye syndrome may notice an exacerbation of symptoms. This is due to the impact of allergens and existing ocular issues. Likewise, allergic reactions can intensify dry eye symptoms in those already affected by the condition. The convergence of dry eyes and seasonal allergies creates an amplified challenge in managing symptoms such as:

  • Itchiness
  • Watering
  • Irritation
  • Puffiness
  • Redness
  • Feeling of grittiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Increased light sensitivity

Any or many of these issues can significantly affect your daily activities, making it difficult to enjoy outdoor events or even perform routine tasks. But how do you prevent the symptoms before they cause that disruption?

Proactive Measures

Recognizing these signs early and adopting a preventative approach to care is crucial. It also allows you to have the most comfortable outcome available.

Keep your Eyes Clean: Wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes, especially when you are outside. To take your hygienic practices further, add eyelid wipes, such as BelphaClean Eyelid Wipes, to your daily routine. Not only will these keep irritants off your eyes, but they will keep your oil glands clean and functioning properly—a major factor in reducing dry eye.

Control your Environment: Keeping windows closed and using air purifiers can help reduce indoor pollen levels. Check daily pollen forecasts and try to stay indoors when counts are high. However, staying inside is neither fun nor practical, so when outdoors, consider wearing a facemask. A facemask can significantly reduce the contact you have with pollen.

Maintain Eye Health: Ensure proper eye hygiene and care by regularly cleaning your contact lenses (if applicable), avoiding prolonged screen time, having regular eye exams, and taking breaks to rest your eyes—that means blinking!

Early intervention has led many of our patients back to favourite spring activities or to simply enjoying the season. Spring can be enjoyed without the burden of dry eyes and allergies.

Treatment Options

From traditional to advanced solutions, we aim to provide effective relief for a comfortable spring experience. Our personalized treatment plans consider each patient’s sensitivities in combination with the specific demands of Victoria’s spring season.

Our treatment arsenal includes a variety of options designed to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye and allergies. Innovations like Forma-i and Lumecca-i, utilizing Inmode technology, offer non-invasive solutions targeting underlying causes of discomfort, providing lasting relief. These technologies, combined with holistic skincare routines and taking supplemental Omega3s, ensure that you receive effective and personalized care.

It’s never too early to start treatment for spring-related dry eye and allergies. Educating yourself on preventative measures can help reduce the symptoms from developing. Starting treatment before symptoms peak can help manage conditions more effectively, providing a more comfortable spring experience.

Taking Steps Towards Relief

The journey to relief begins with a comprehensive assessment, allowing us to understand your symptoms and their triggers. Following this, a personalized treatment plan is developed, focusing on both immediate symptom relief and long-term management strategies. Throughout the process, our team is dedicated to providing support and guidance, ensuring a clear path to enjoying Victoria’s spring.

Strategize Today for a Comfortable Tomorrow

As the cherry blossoms peek their faces out onto the Victoria streets, I’ll be preparing myself to experience them fully. To experience them without the discomfort of dry eyes and allergies. With a proactive approach you can experience this alongside me, as we navigate this beautiful season with ease and comfort.

Reach out to Island Eyecare today to set up a dry eye consultation and to map out a personalized preventive care plan.

Dr. Anita Narang