Eye Allergy Symptoms & Relief For Your Itchy Eyes
With allergy season in full swing, do you know how to get relief from allergies affecting the eyes?
Many people seek help for symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling and nasal congestion. But allergies also affect the eyes. Eye allergy symptoms include red, itchy, burning and watery eyes. Your eyelids can even become swollen if you’re experiencing major eye allergies.
If it’s just allergies, they pose little threat to your eyesight, but you can experience temporary blurriness. It’s important to know that other infections and conditions sometimes have the same eye allergy symptoms. If your symptoms don’t improve, call your doctor because you may not be just experiencing seasonal allergies.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the different causes of allergies that can bother the eyes and what the treatments are.
Causes of Eye Allergies
Eye allergies happen when your body overreacts to something, just like any allergy. When your body is reacting to something, your immune system makes antibodies that cause your eyes to become red, watery and itchy.
Types of Eye Allergies
There are two main types of eye allergies: Seasonal and perennial.
Seasonal Allergies symptoms happen at a certain time of the year. Usually early spring through summer (AKA: right now. Is anyone else experiencing eye allergies currently?) These allergies affecting eyes happen because of allergens in the air, which can include pollen from grass, trees and weeds. Others triggers include spores from mold.
Perennial allergies are year-round. These eye allergy symptoms are caused by dust mites, feathers (do you have feathers in your beddings?) and the most dreaded… animal dander. Some substances can cause eye allergies to surface including perfume, chlorine, air pollution, smoke, certain cosmetics and even certain medicines.
Eye allergy relief
The first thing you have to do is avoid the triggers. You can do this by keeping your windows closed during high pollen periods, using air conditioning in your home and car, wearing glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to protect your eyes and using “mite-proof” bedding that doesn’t have feathers.
When you’re inside, you should limit exposure to mold by keeping the humidity in your home low and clean your bathrooms, kitchen and basement if you have one regularly.
We suggest using a dehumidifier in any damp, humid places.
If you’re allergic to pets and notice that your eyes become red and itchy around them, wash your hands immediately after petting any animal. Wash your clothing after visiting friends with pets and if you’re severely allergic, have a pet-free home or keep pets in certain rooms. The biggest room they should stay out of is your bedroom, especially on your bed where you lay your head.
When it comes to non-prescription medications try:
- Artificial Tears
- Decongestant eye drops – If you use eye drops that are used for “red eye” longer than a week, it can worsen your eye allergy symptoms.
There are also several very effective prescription eye drops that target the tissue of the eye directly without the potential side effects of systemic OTC antihistamines that can be as simple as a once a day dosing.
Allergies affecting eyes
Many allergens that trigger eye allergies are airborne. This means you can’t avoid them.
Discuss your eye allergy symptoms with your allergist and eye doctor. This will help you all determine eye allergy relief and the proper treatment to lessen the discomfort. Prescription medication may work better for your seasonal allergy symptoms, but you won’t know until you speak to a professional.
At Sun Valley Optometry, Dr. Mat Broschak provides primary eye care for all age groups with a special interest in dry eye management. If you’re interested in speaking with Dr. Mat about your eye allergies and what an eye doctor can do to help, contact Sun Valley Optometry today.