Discover Allergy Relief
Patients at Golden Vision complain of dry, itchy eyes as one of the most difficult symptoms of seasonal allergies. While different regions of California have different implications for allergies, most patients complain of some irritation stemming from basic hay fever or seasonal irritants.
We offer soothing eye drops and other medication to keep your eyes moist and comfortable, no matter what allergies you’re dealing with. Text us for an appointment today!
What Are Eye Allergies?
Eye allergies (allergic conjunctivitis) occur when an allergen irritates the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent membrane covering the cornea (front of the eye) and inner eyelids. Unlike other forms of conjunctivitis (pink eye), eye allergies are not contagious.
Allergens can be anything, which means they can be unique for every patient. Common examples include pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander.
When the immune system identifies a substance as an allergen, your body can overreact and produce antibodies in an attempt to eliminate the invading substance. The antibodies cause the release of chemicals, contributing to your allergic reaction.
Controlling or preventing an allergic reaction can help reduce uncomfortable symptoms.
Symptoms can depend on the severity of your allergic reaction. Eye allergies can also occur with nasal allergies, causing additional symptoms. Nasal allergy symptoms typically include a stuffy, itchy nose or sneezing. You may also experience a sore throat or coughing.
The most common eye allergy symptoms include:
- Burning or itchiness
- Redness or swelling
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery eyes
Treating Eye Allergies
Avoiding allergens and limiting contact with the substance causing the reaction are the best ways to prevent symptoms. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to avoid all allergens, even if you know what they are.
Identifying what causes your eye allergies is a crucial first step. You may keep a record of your reactions to try to find the source yourself, or you may need to book an assessment with an allergist.
When the allergen is unavoidable, there are various treatments available to help manage allergy symptoms. Your eye doctor can help determine which treatments are appropriate for your symptoms and eye health.
Artificial tears or eye drops can help wash allergens from the eye, limiting direct contact. Eye drops can also add moisture, relieving dry or irritated eyes. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) brands available without a prescription. If you need more, preservative-free eye drops can be a better option. Alternatively, you may benefit from prescription eye drops.
Decongestants may not eliminate allergens, but they can reduce redness. Decongestant eye drops are available over-the-counter. You may also benefit from decongestant eye drops with an antihistamine, which helps control or limit your allergic reaction.
Avoid using decongestant eye drops for more than 2–3 days. Long-term use can increase symptoms rather than provide relief.
Oral antihistamines help to limit your allergic reaction by blocking histamines, chemicals released as an immune response. Although antihistamines can help relieve itchy eyes, they can also increase some eye allergy symptoms such as dry eye.
Antihistamine with Mast-Cell Stabilizer
Eye drops with an antihistamine with mast-cell stabilizer can relieve itchiness and prevent eye allergies. Typically, prescription eye drops are applied 1-2 times daily to relieve itching, redness, and tearing.
Your eye doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops for eye allergies if you experience chronic or severe symptoms. Steroid eye drops can help reduce swelling, itching, and redness.
Immunotherapy (allergy) shots are customized and administered by an allergist. When avoidance of allergens, eye drops, and medications are ineffective, immunotherapy shots can help reduce your body’s immune response.
The shots contain a tiny amount of an allergen, with the dose gradually increasing. Over time, your immune response to the allergen decreases, improving symptoms.
Visit Us for Eye Allergy Relief
Chronic eye allergies can cause uncomfortable symptoms, interfere with healthy vision, and lead to eye problems. Don’t settle for over-the-counter options. The team at Golden Vision Optometry is dedicated to providing patients with access to more options for their unique eye care needs.
Text us to make an appointment with your eye doctor at Golden Vision Optometry or book an appointment online. It’s time to get relief for irritated, itchy eyes.
We have 9 convenient locations throughout California to serve you. We’re constantly growing, so you and your family always have access to the services you need.
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