Eye allergies and other uncomfortable conditions that affect the eyes can have a drastic impact on an individual’s quality of life. We’ve all been there before – itchy eyes, embarrassing redness, and unbearable dryness. While many people head to their local drug store and stock up on Visine or other red eye-reducing over-the-counter drops, sometimes that is simply not enough.
There are numerous reasons why people experience red eyes or dry eyes, such as allergies or other environmental irritations. So how do you know if it is something that can be treated with an over-the-counter drop, or a condition that requires the expertise of an optometrist? Unfortunately the answer isn’t as straightforward as many would like.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, an estimated 50 million people in the United States have seasonal allergies, and this number is only increasing. Approximately 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children experience some type of allergies at one point or another, resulting in itchy eyes, watery eyes, dry eyes, red eyes, and swollen eyelids. In some cases, eye allergies can even lead to conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other serious eye infections. For this reason, we encourage you to consult one of our experienced North Arlington optometrists if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. While many cases can be treated with over-the-counter eye drops or prescription drops, others require additional drugs or diagnosis.
What Leads to Eye Allergies?
There are numerous environmental factors and other substances that can lead to eye allergies and cause problems for those who are predisposed to allergic reactions. The most common airborne allergens that cause red eyes, dry eyes, or itchy eyes for people include:
- Pet Dander
Eye allergies can also be caused by food allergies, allergic reactions to bee stings or other insect bites, certain cosmetics, or even eye drops, such as artificial tears used for treating dry eyes. If you are susceptible to allergic reactions or have experienced dry, itchy, or red eyes at one time or another, we encourage you to contact First Eye Care today and schedule an appointment. Our optometrists will sit down with you and get to the bottom of what is causing your discomfort.
In addition to allergies and airborne allergens, there are numerous other conditions that lead to dry or red eyes, including:
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage, or broken blood vessel on the sclera
- Inflamed eyelids
- Special-effect contact lenses
- Pink eye
- Computer vision syndrome
- Eye injury
- Corneal ulcer
- Ocular herpes
To learn more about dry eyes, red eyes, or allergies, please contact First Eye Care today and schedule an appointment. Your vision matters to us and we are here to help you achieve the healthiest eyes and vision possible!
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