Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, can be a source of great discomfort for those who suffer from them. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances in the environment, such as pollen, dust, and pet dander. Keep reading to learn the causes and symptoms of eye allergies, as well as some tips for finding relief. If you need help dealing with your allergy eyes, contact us to schedule an appointment for Southwest Orlando eye care in Orlando, FL.
What Causes Eye Allergies?
Eye allergies are caused by a reaction to allergens in the environment. When these allergens come into contact with the eyes, they can cause the body to produce histamines, which are chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Some common allergens that can trigger eye allergies include the following:
- Pollen from trees, grass, and weeds
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Smoke and pollution
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
The symptoms of eye allergies can vary from person to person, but they often include the following:
- Itching or burning sensation in the eyes
- Redness and swelling of the eyes
- Watery or tearful eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
These symptoms can be mild or severe, and they can interfere with daily activities such as reading, driving, and using a computer.
Finding Relief from Eye Allergies
If you are suffering from eye allergies, there are several things you can do to find relief. Here are some tips:
- Avoid allergens: The best way to prevent eye allergies is to avoid the allergens that trigger them. If you know that you are allergic to pollen, for example, you can try to stay indoors during peak pollen season, keep windows closed, and use an air purifier. If you are allergic to pet dander, try to keep pets out of your bedroom and off furniture.
- Use over-the-counter eye drops: Over-the-counter eye drops can help relieve the symptoms of eye allergies. These drops contain antihistamines and other medications that can reduce itching, redness, and swelling. Some popular brands of eye drops for allergies include Zaditor, Alaway, and Visine-A.
- Apply a cold compress: A cold compress can help reduce swelling and itching in the eyes. You can use a clean, damp cloth or a gel eye mask that has been chilled in the refrigerator. Place the compress over your eyes for a few minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Take oral antihistamines: Oral antihistamines can also help relieve the symptoms of eye allergies. These medications can help reduce itching, sneezing, and runny nose. Some popular brands of oral antihistamines include Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes: Rubbing your eyes can make the symptoms of eye allergies worse. When you rub your eyes, you can transfer allergens from your hands to your eyes, which can cause more itching and redness. If you need to touch your eyes, make sure to wash your hands first.
- Visit an eye doctor: If you are experiencing severe symptoms of eye allergies, or if your symptoms are not improving with over-the-counter treatments, it may be time to see an eye doctor. An eye doctor can help diagnose your condition and prescribe stronger medications to help relieve your symptoms.
Prevention Is Key
While there is no cure for eye allergies, there are many ways to prevent and treat the symptoms. One of the best things you can do is to contact an eye doctor and schedule an appointment today. We can provide tips on how to prevent eye allergy symptoms, as well as prescribe any needed prescriptions for eye drops—or for new glasses, which you can pick up at our eyeglass stores in Orlando. Call now to schedule an appointment with Bay Hill Eye Care!