Over 50,000,000 people in America suffer from allergies, according to the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The Mayo Clinic defines an allergic reaction as “when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander.” For some, allergies can drastically affect lifestyle and daily routine. Allergies symptoms that affect the eyes can cause burning, itching and excessive watering of the eye. For individuals who choose to not use commercial medications, there are some home remedies to relieve these symptoms.
Make a Warm or Cold Compress
Make a warm or cold compress with household supplies. For a warm compress, take a long tube sock and fill it with rice. Tie it in a knot at the top. Place it in the microwave for two minutes and apply it directly to closed eyes. The heat will help reduce the discomfort or pain associated with the eye irritation. To make a cold compress, use either a wet wash cloth and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes, or use a small bag of frozen peas. Place on the face, over closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. A cold compress will help to reduce any swelling and inflammation. Switch between the cold and hot compresses until you reach a satisfying comfort level.
Use Saline Drops
Use saline drops (or salt water) to help relieve dried eyes and maintain proper moisture. Salt water serves two purposes: it moistens the eyes and it clears out any unwanted irritants. Use two drops in each eye, every 30 minutes until you feel relief. Make your own saline drops at home with a half cup of water and 1 tsp.of salt. Use either distilled or purified water without any mineral additives. Mix the salt in warm to hot water to ensure that the salt is dissolved entirely. Use a clean dropper to apply to the eyes or use an eye cup, available at most pharmacies. Wash the eyes out with the saline solution once a day by tipping a cup with saline solution in it over the face. Open the eye ball for 15 seconds to expose the entire eye to the salt water. The saline solution will also help to calm any irritation.
Use Chamomile Tea Bags
Take two chamomile tea bags and steep them in hot water for less than 10 seconds. You want the active elements of the herb to be activated, not infused into the water. Let the bags cool for a minute and then place them on both closed eyes for 10 minutes. Allow the chamomile to run into the eyes and down the face. Place a towel under the head to catch any watery run off. Chamomile is an herb known for its soothing properties. The warmth of the tea bags will help alleviate any pain or discomfort in the eyes and help relax the tired eye muscles. Repeat three to four times a day for relief.