Eye Allergies Springing Up?
Spring is finally here! But with spring comes red irritated itchy eyes, a common symptom of eye allergies. Eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, appear when your eye reacts to a particular allergen. To fight off allergens, the eyes will usually activate histamine, the chemical that makes your eyes itchy.
Fortunately, this type of eye allergy is not contagious or dangerous, but it is uncomfortable. Here’s what you need to know about eye allergies, and how to ward off discomfort during pollen season.
How To Tell If I Have Eye Allergies
If you suspect you have eye allergies, you may be experiencing an itching or burning sensation in your eyes. Your eyes may also be red and swollen, sensitive to light, or tearing excessively.
Concerned about the source of your eye allergies? Let’s find out what may be causing it.
Common Sources of Eye Allergies
For many of us, eye allergies are unavoidable during the springtime. The condition is usually seasonal and temporary. However, finding out the potential source of your eye allergies may give you peace of mind.
Eye allergies usually come from the following sources:
- Pet dander
- Food allergies
Pollen Allergies in the Eye
A common cause of seasonal eye allergies is pollen. Unfortunately, pollen counts increase exponentially during the springtime. If you discover that you’re allergic to pollen, consider avoiding the outdoors during peak moments to prevent pollen from irritating your eyes. Mid-morning and early evenings in the spring tend to contribute to higher pollen counts.
Additionally, rubbing your eyes usually makes allergic conjunctivitis worse.
Treatments for Eye Allergies
If your eyes are red, swollen, and itchy during the springtime, you’re not alone!
To treat your eye allergies, consider the following options.
- Artificial tear drops provide the necessary moisture for a dry, irritated eye by washing out allergens. You also don’t need to obtain a prescription for this treatment option.
- Over-the-counter decongestants can diminish redness in irritated eyes. However, avoid taking these long-term, as they can worsen your symptoms further.
- Antihistamines are available as eye drops to relieve itching, burning, tearing, and redness of the eyes.
- Allergy shots, otherwise known as immunotherapy, are shots with traces of the allergen that affects your eyes. Taking allergy shots should help your immune system grow accustomed to the allergen.
Ultimately, you should consult your local optometrist for the best treatment options, such as prescribed steroid eye drops.
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