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When we are suffering from the more “typical” allergy symptoms such as an itchy throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, or sniffling, we usually have some or other allergy medicine lying around ready for us to take to help treat said symptoms. Many people, however, are less prepared when it comes to allergy symptoms affecting their eyes. If you think you may be suffering from eye allergies, you are probably are wondering what the reason is and how you can find relief. Eye allergies can be pesky and frustrating and interfere with our day-to-day activities, therefore, finding treatment is a priority if you’re suffering from them.
What are eye allergy symptoms?
- Redness in and around the eyes
- Itching of the eyes
- Swollenness or puffiness of the eyes
- Burning in the eyes
- Watering of the eyes
What causes eye allergies?
Just like other allergies, you may be suffering from, eye allergies occur when your body has a negative overreaction to something. Typical outdoor and indoor allergy triggers include:
- Pollen from various plants, trees, grass, etc.
- Pet dander and saliva
- Dust mites
- Cigarette smoke
Whenever the allergen is encountered, the body reacts by triggering the immune system to create antibodies. These antibodies then cause your eyes to release a histamine along with other substances. This reaction causes the various symptoms such as redness, irritation, itching, and watering, etc.
What are the different types of allergies?
There are two different types of eye allergies, seasonal and perennial. Seasonal eye allergies are much more common than perennial eye allergies. They happen throughout the year based on the seasonal changes, typically through the spring to summer all the way through to autumn. These seasonal eye allergies are caused by the allergens in the air, typically the pollen from the plants as well as the spores from molds.
Perennial allergies, on the other hand, happen all year round. Typically, the causes are dust, dust mites, dander that comes off of pets, or even the feathers in one’s bedding. The other allergens that affect perennial allergies are things such as cigarette smoke and other air pollution, also cosmetics, and other similar possible irritants.
What are the treatments for eye allergies?
The number one way to treat your eye allergies is to prevent them by avoiding the allergens that trigger your symptoms. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you will want to avoid going outside when pollen counts are at their highest, which is usually mid-morning and early evening. Fans can also irritate one’s eyes as they can stir up any existing allergens in the air and cause dryness of the eyes. Keep the windows closed and use your air conditioning to help keep the air filtered. When you do go outside during high-allergy seasons, wearing your glasses or sunglasses can help to guard your eyes against the allergens in the air. Also remember to wash your hands after petting an animal, if not avoid it all together.
If you are suffering from eye allergies and can’t seem to find relief from the preventative or avoidance measures, you may want to talk to your eye allergy doctor in Arlington about the available eye drops and medications that can help. Your doctor will likely suggest one or a combination of the following:
- Tear substitutes
- Oral antihistamines
- Antihistamine eye drops
- Mast cell stabilizer eye drops
- NSAID eye drops
- Corticosteroid eye drops
- Non-sedating oral antihistamines
If you are looking for a trusted eye doctor, here at First Eye Care we can help. Here at our Arlington vision center, our team of optical experts will use their care and knowledge to help keep you and your family’s eyes healthy. Contact us today and let us help you to start seeing things a bit more clearly.