Itchy, watery eyes. For millions of Americans, it’s a seasonal annoyance (Spring is Coming). And for those less fortunate, it’s a year-round problem that can have a serious impact on your quality of life. But don’t give up hope. There are many ways to alleviate your symptoms and protect your eye health.
The scientific term for ocular (eye) allergies is allergic conjunctivitis — inflammation of the eye caused by an allergic reaction to substances like grass, pollen and mold spores (allergens). When the antibodies in your eyes come into contact with allergens, your body’s immune system responds by releasing histamine and other substances or chemicals. This can cause itchiness, clear fluid discharge, redness, swelling and a burning sensation, and even sneezing, sniffling or a stuffy nose which most often associated with nasal allergies.
It can be difficult to pinpoint, but if you can identify which allergens and other environmental factors are causing your symptoms to flare up, the easier it is to prevent your body from reacting in the first place.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says the first step to manage your eye allergies is to avoid the allergens that trigger your symptoms. And we agree.
The most common triggers include:
The following are some suggested behaviors that can significantly reduce the frequency and duration of your eye allergy symptoms:
Heading to the pharmacy for over-the-counter, non-prescription medication is your second line of defense.
Your options include:
If you’re unsure about any of these non-prescription medication options to control your eye allergy symptoms, we recommend checking with your pharmacist or giving us a call.
If you’ve tried making changes to your home and lifestyle to prevent allergens from entering your eyes, and non-prescription medication just isn’t doing the trick, please get in touch with us at Dittman Eyecare. We can complete an assessment to determine if prescription medication can help alleviate your symptoms or prevent the onset of an allergic reaction.
Your options include:
Sometimes it’s more than just itchy, watery eyes from seasonal or perennial eye allergies. Sometimes it’s a more serious form of allergic conjunctivitis or even an eye disease, but the symptoms are similar so how can you tell? That’s why an accurate diagnosis is imperative for your continued eye health.
If your symptoms persist or over-the-counter remedies are not bringing you relief, call Dittman Eyecare for help. Our optometrist professionals can closely examine your eyes, review your medical history and symptoms to determine which allergens are triggering reactions, and help you find the correct course of action.
Additionally, we provide treatment for red eye/pink eye associated with allergies, and also offer a dry eye clinic that may be able to provide you with extra relief. May you be well and allergy-symptom free!