Summertime Allergies and Your Eyes

Summertime field

Summertime Allergies and Your Eyes

Allergies may be to blame if your eyes feel itchy and uncomfortable during the summer months. Fortunately, you don't always have to stay indoors to keep your summer allergies under control. Your optometrist can recommend eye drops and other treatment options that will soothe your symptoms.

What Causes Summer Eye Allergies?

A simple misunderstanding is responsible for allergies. When a speck of pollen or mold enters your body through your eyes, mouth or nose, your immune system mistakenly decides that these harmless substances are a threat to your health. The body immediately begins producing histamines, chemicals that seek out and destroy allergens. Unfortunately, histamines also cause the symptoms you associate with allergies, including:

  • Itchy, Red, Watery Eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Runny Nose
  • Swollen Eyelids
  • Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Common allergens include mold, animal dander, dust, and pollen from trees, grass, and weeds. During the early to mid-summer, mold and grass and pollens are usually responsible for eye allergy symptoms. In late summer, ragweed, mugwort, thistle, and other weed pollens can trigger symptoms. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, mold thrives when the days are hot and humid, while ragweed and grass pollens become a problem during warm days/cool nights.

How to Manage Your Summer Eye Allergies

These tips can you reduce your allergy symptoms this summer:

  • Check the Forecast. Weather websites often include information about allergen levels in your area. If mold or pollens are high, spend as much time as possible indoors. Pollen counts tend to be higher on dry, windy days.
  • Use Your Air-Conditioner or Air Purifier. Fans blow allergens throughout your house. When allergen levels are high, it's best to close the windows and keep your home cool and comfortable with an air-conditioner. Both air-conditioners and air purifiers filter out allergens from the air.
  • Wash, Clean, and Mop. Allergens enter your home through open doors and windows and hitch a ride on your clothing and shoes. Get rid of allergens by mopping floors, dusting furniture, and vacuuming carpeting, rugs and upholstered furniture often. Change your sheets every few days. Putting hypoallergenic covers on your pillows, mattress, comforter and box springs will keep dust and mold spores from triggering allergy symptoms. Does your dog or cat spend time outdoors? Before you bring your furry friend inside, run a moist washcloth over your pet's fur to remove allergens
  • Buy a Dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers remove humidity from the air and reduce the amount of mold in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and other moist places. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends maintaining a 30% to 50% humidity level for your dehumidifier.
  • Put on a Pair of Shades. Wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent allergens from entering your eyes. Eyeglasses and sunglasses are helpful too, although they don't provide quite as much protection as wraparound sunglasses.

Ask Your Eye Doctor About Eye Allergy Treatments

If making a few changes at home doesn't relieve your eye allergy symptoms, it's a good idea to pay a visit to your optometrist. He or she may recommend:

  • Saline Eye Drops or Artificial Tears. Using these drops throughout the day washes away allergens before they can irritate your eyes.
  • Over-the-Counter Eye Drops. These eye drops soothe itchiness and relieve redness. Check the label before purchasing the drops, as some types of eye drops should only be used for a few days, while others can be used longer.
  • Oral Allergy Medication. Oral antihistamines and decongestants can also be helpful in treating summer allergies. Dry eye can be a side effect of oral antihistamines, according to a Review of Optometry article.
  • Corticosteroid Eye Drops. If other medications don't help your symptoms, your eye doctor may prescribe corticosteroid eye drops to reduce inflammation.
  • Allergy Shots. Allergy shots may be an option if you're still suffering from eye allergies. The shots contain tiny amounts of allergens and make your body less sensitive to the effects of the allergens.

Are you suffering from summer eye allergy symptoms? Get in touch with our office to make an appointment with our optometrist.


American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Seasonal Allergies, 12/28/2017

Review of Optometry: When to Prescribe an OTC Allergy Drop, 8/17/2020

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Eye Allergy

American Academy of Ophthalmology: What Are Eye Allergies, 1/11/2022

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Eye Allergies (Allergic Conjunctivitis), 10/2015


Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

We are closed for lunch daily from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM.

Brier Creek Vision Care


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


9:00 AM - 5:00 PM






  • "Excellent office. Staff is helpful and polite when dealing with my special needs child. They understand when he needs break and how to redirect to another technique to achieve goal. Would highly recommend to others!"
    Jennifer, Raleigh, NC
  • "I needed an eye doctor to see me for my concussion issue that effected my eyesight. There isn't many who are able to assess. Dr. Durham knew just how to work with my case in a gentle manner to help keep me calm. I finally have hope for healing now."
    Elizabeth 3/15/19 - Answer to Prayer
  • "Dr Durham is amazing. She takes the time to hear the patient and is extemely knowlegable."
    Susan 3/16/19 - Amazing
  • "All the staff were very helpful & Susan Durham was very thorough & professional"
    Jill 3/14/19
  • "Dr. Durham and her staff are the best and most knowledgeable dealing with brain injuries. Highly recommended!"
    Kristina 3/11/19 - Absolutely the best!
  • "Thought exam was personal, deteilrd and fully explained. Staff were prompt, kind, snd professional. I’d recommend Dr. Durham’s clinic to anyone needing eye care."
    Thomas 3/10/19
  • "The staff was very polite and extremely patient with my condition. Very specific about my condition and caring to help me recover. We will have a long road to recovery together."
    Elizabeth 3/11/19
  • "Didn't have to wait. Very thorough eye exam."
    Sandy 3/7/19 - Great eye checkup
  • "My visit was more than I could of asked for. I told my friends about my visit to the future. Dr. Dunham was extremely knowledgeable, concerned and determined to get it right, Her staff seemed to respect her greatly. staff was trained very well and gave me the confidence they knew what they were doing.
    I have already told my friends about my visit to the future."
    Patricia 2/24/19 - Everything was perfect.
  • "My daughter and I have have had great experiences at Brier Creek Vision! Dr. N. Is fantastic!! The office staff is super friendly, accommodating and very pleasurable to work with. Eye glass frames are plentiful and the opticians are helpful, suggestive and patient! Thanks to everyone for making all of visits wonderful!!"
    Cynthia 2/14/19 – Great Experience
  • "Dr Nakagawara is open, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Karim Glover in the optical dispensary took great care in explaining and helping me to get great value on a new set of prescription sunglasses that will do much more than my previous set. Extremely happy.
    Loved the Optician!"
    Thomas 2/22/19 - Great Doctors and Team...
  • "I cannot tell you how happy I am with Brier Creek Vision. Everyone from the moment you enter, all the way through the appointment, is knowledgeable friendly and caring. I receive excellent and professional care. Highly recommend!"
    Helen 2/21/19 - Excellent care
  • "Went from 20/30 to 20/20! The sky is the limit with dr Patel. Will continue to bring both my kids here...."
    Temidayo 2/17/19 - Dr Patel Rocks!!!!
  • "I have had nothing but amazing experiences here! The entire staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I have never walked away unsatisfied."
    Shelby 2/14/19 - Awesome!
  • "This office has all of the latest equipment and skills to take care of your eyes."
    Wales 2/6/19 - Great eye care!
  • "The atmosphere in the office is very pleasant and welcoming. I always feel comfortable in both the waiting room and the exam rooms. Selecting glasses is also a breeze, as the staff is extremely helpful and knowledgable."
    Kris 1/31/19 - Amazing Experience
  • "Our family visit was over the top. The entire staff took their time and made sure each and everyone's exam was through. No pressure to buy glasses. Our experience with Dr. Nakagawara was outstanding!!"
    Melissa 1/31/19 - Recommend
  • "I always have the best visit at Brier Creek Vision. My Doctor, Esther Nakagawara, is the best at what she does! She handles the procedures with care, caution and concern, explains well and has the best solutions to keep your eyes healthy. The staff is accommodating, patient and very kind to everyone; they never mind answering questions. The opticians are helpful in assisting with the selection of eyecare that looks good and works the best for you. I have told many people about my positive experiences at Brier Creek Vision and recommended this office as well."
    Kailah 1/30/19 - The Best in Eyeccare!!
  • "My family and I have been patients of Brier Creek Vision for 2 years. Dr. Nakagawara is a very caring and skilled OD who communicates, teaches and plans well. The staff and optometrists are inviting, knowledgeable and very helpful. We have recommended BCV to all our friends and family!"
    Cynthia 1/30/19 - Highly recommend
  • "I was thrilled to learn about the new Shaw lens concept to treat my daughter's amblyopia!"
    Molly 1/30/19 - Excellent Experience