About Eye Allergies
Every year, 50 million U.S. adults and children experience seasonal allergies (often referred to as hay fever) and develop annoying or even sometimes painful symptoms. Sneezing, congestion, and stuffy noses are very common signs one may experience, but so are red, teary, burning, itchy, or swollen eyes. When allergens irritate your eyes, the result is allergic conjunctivitis, sometimes referred to as eye or ocular allergies. Ocular allergies are extremely common and will strike the majority of patients with hay fever eventually. The irritation caused by eye allergies can present as slight to extreme, but they usually have convenient treatments.
Symptoms of an eye allergy
Besides sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose, many patients who have hay fever tend to also experience symptoms that affect their eyes. The most well-known symptoms of ocular allergies are teary, itchy, red, and swollen eyes. For many allergy sufferers, the symptoms of eye allergies also involve the eyelids, which means they become itchy, swollen, and red, too. These issues often create a strong impulse to rub or scratch the eyes, but doing so will just make them feel worse. Those whose eye allergies are chronic or serious can even deal with stinging sensations, sore eyes, and sometimes sensitivity to light.
In most cases, there aren’t any unusual causes for eye allergies. They are simply your eyes responding to the same things that trigger your other allergic reactions, like sneezing or a stuffy nose. Most of the time, individuals with ocular allergies are responding to different types of pollen, mildew, dust mites, their pet's fur, or other ordinary airborne allergens. Often, people can also develop eye allergies to things, like certain chemicals, cigarettes, and face creams. A lot of allergens are generally present on the fingers so kneading the eyes typically worsens the inflammation.
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Diagnosis FOR EYE ALLERGIES
While eye allergies are mostly not dangerous, their symptoms often look a lot like other, more adverse conditions. Our team will conduct a comprehensive eye examination to exclude any of these conditions before diagnosing you with allergies. We will also review any past conditions, in addition to your current symptoms, to help learn whether a more harmful condition may be developing. It's possible that we may tell you to go to an allergist so that they can find the particular triggers that may be causing your reactions.
Just like with any allergy, the most effective way to prevent symptoms from manifesting is to limit your exposure to the allergen, though we know this is usually not simple or even achievable. Individuals who wear contacts and experience eye allergies can often ease their discomfort by trying daily contacts because airborne allergens tend to build up on extended-wear lenses. Numerous nonprescription eye drops are available that are formulated to relieve inflammation and itching, but rarely do they offer hardly any relief. For people who have been disappointed with nonprescription eye drops, you may require prescription eye drops, or you might be suffering from an infection rather than allergies.
Eye allergies FAQs
How do eye allergies start?
Eye allergies occur when a foreign substance enters the body through the eyes. This usually happens when coming into contact with pollen, dust, mold, or animal dander. Eye allergy symptoms can disappear within a few hours or days, but a severe reaction may last longer. Our Nashville eye center can manage eye allergies and help you to get back to normal soon.
Can eye allergies be serious?
While most eye allergies are annoying or bothersome, untreated allergies can damage your eyes. This includes injury to your corneas, especially if you rub your eyes too hard. Irritated and dry eyes are also more susceptible to pink eye or other infections. This is why it's always important to get checked by an experienced eye surgeon in Nashville, TN.
How can I prevent allergic reactions?
The best way to avoid eye allergies is to make changes to your environment. Our Nashville eye center recommends keeping your windows closed during allergy season. Look for products with the words “hypoallergenic” if it's difficult to avoid certain triggers. Control any mites or mold in your home, and remember to wash your hands before touching your eyes.
Receive Eye Allergy Relief
For many people, ocular allergies are painful and annoying, but thankfully, there are many valuable options for treatment.
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