Allergies are a common problem that affects many people in the country. Most people who have allergies get symptoms that include sniffing, sneezing, and nasal congestion. Allergies also affect the eyes. Ocular or eye allergies develop when the eye conjunctiva is irritated by certain substances.
The conjunctiva covers the eye and the inner part of the eyelid. The allergies will usually make the eyes red, itchy, and watery. The eyes can also get a burning sensation and the eyelids become swollen.
Allergies occur when the body reacts negatively to something. The immune system creates antibodies that cause the eyes to release substances like histamine. This causes itching, watery eyes, and red eyes.
Most eye allergies are seasonal, caused by pollen, mold, and other substances. People who suffer from seasonal allergies will often notice a worsening of symptoms when they are outdoors. Hay fever becomes worse during days when there is a high pollen count.
If you experience common eye allergies, there are treatments that can provide some relief. Oral antihistamines may offer some relief for itchy eyes but unfortunately, the products can also cause dry eyes. It is possible to treat eye allergies without resorting to products that cause irritating symptoms.
There are over-the-counter eye drops that can offer relief for allergies. If the allergies include eye pain, heavy discharge, or extreme redness, it is important to seek medical advice. This will help to prevent serious eye conditions that can threaten vision.
There are several things that you can do to prevent eye allergies. Among them are:
The easiest way to treat or prevent allergies is to avoid the antigens or substances that cause the symptoms. Antigens are the substances or particles that trigger allergies. They include dust, pollen, grasses, mold, and pet dander. It is important to avoid both airborne and contact allergens.
Some indoor allergens include pet fur, carpet materials, and dust mites. These can cause problems all year round. Cleaning the house and bedding regularly, keeping pets outdoors, and using air conditioning in the home can help.
Eye allergies often leave the eyes feeling red and irritated. A cold compress can help soothe the eyes. The compress works by shrinking the eye tissue, which provides soothing relief. Fill a bowl with water and ice and dip a small washcloth into the cold water.
Squeeze out excess water before placing the cloth over closed eyes for five to 10 minutes. Do this several times during the day or when symptoms worsen.
Eye allergies often leave the eyes feeling dry and irritated. Applying eye drops in the eyes can lubricate them. For an extra soothing feeling, keep the bottle of eye drops in the fridge. Using cold eye drops in the eye several times a day will provide much-needed relief. Use prescription eye drops that are recommended by your doctor.
When using products like eye drops, it is important to realize that extended use is not recommended. This is because they can cause the eyes to become bloodshot. Immunotherapy or allergy shots can be very effective for treating allergic conjunctivitis. Talk to an eye doctor about the best products especially if you need to use the medication every day.
Learn more about preventing & treating eye allergies, contact Plano Eye Associates in Plano, Texas at (972) 985-1412 to book an appointment today!