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Experiencing dry, itchy, and red eyes during the spring and autumn months is a common issue for many New Zealanders. It can be challenging to discern whether these symptoms are due to seasonal allergies or Dry Eye Syndrome since both conditions share red, watery eyes as a common characteristic. However, recent research suggests a connection between these issues and the changing seasons.

How Does Autumn Affect My Eyes?

Autumn, marked by the beautiful display of red and orange falling leaves, brings with it a potential trigger for eye problems. As the leaves decompose, they release mold and fungal spores into the air, causing allergies in susceptible individuals. Simultaneously, seasonal Dry Eye syndrome becomes prevalent during this time, attributed to various factors.
With the onset of autumn, temperature fluctuations from warm to cool occur. Indoor heating contributes to lower humidity levels, leading to drier air indoors. This, combined with extended use of digital screens, whether in an office or at home, can result in inflammation and discomfort in the eyes. Prolonged screen time often leads to reduced blinking, causing more tears to evaporate and triggering Dry Eye symptoms such as watering, reduced vision, sensitivity to light, and red, sore eyes.

Dry Eye or Allergies?

Distinguishing between Dry Eye and allergies can be challenging due to similar symptoms. However, the presence of itchiness is a telltale sign of allergies. If itching is accompanied by sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and watery eyes, it is likely a case of autumn allergies.


Treatment options differ based on the specific condition affecting the eyes:

For Allergies: Non-prescription eye drops can effectively alleviate itchiness, redness, and watery eyes. Severe cases may require prescription medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids.

Wearing wraparound glasses outdoors and considering eyeglasses instead of contact lenses during allergy season can help minimize flare-ups.

For Dry Eye: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is a common cause of Dry Eye, where blockage prevents glands from secreting enough oil. LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation Treatment at Oasis Dry Eye Clinic aims to open and clear blocked Meibomian glands, allowing for natural lipid production, relieving symptoms, and providing a long-term solution.

Eyelid and skin inflammation can also cause Dry Eye. Lumenis Optima IPL Treatment, utilizing Intense Pulsed Light, targets abnormal blood vessels to address inflammation effectively.

Whether dealing with allergies or Dry Eye, seeking appropriate treatment tailored to the specific condition can significantly improve eye health and comfort during the challenging autumn months.

Dry Eye Clinic

Auckland Eye is leading the way in Dry Eye treatment with its Dry Eye Clinic. For accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment of seasonal dry eye or Dry Eye Syndrome, schedule an appointment at Auckland Eye by calling 0800 25 53 93.

Our expert consultants will conduct a thorough evaluation, measuring tear quality and meibomian gland health to create a personalized treatment plan to meet you are your specific needs.

Friday, 8 Mar 2024

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