Eye Allergies: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
If you have ever had periods when your eyes are red, itchy, watery, when you sneeze or experience pain, then you know what an eye allergy is and how uncomfortable and miserable it makes you feel. If you haven’t, you’re one of the lucky ones! Eye allergies come like thieves and leave your eyes sore for long. Spring and summer are two of the times when eye allergies are most common, and it’s important to have you armed against them. Let’s reveal together what eye allergies actually are, how to identify them and what to do about them.
What is an eye allergy?
Eye allergies, also called eye conjunctivitis occur when something you are allergic to irritates eye conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is a layer that covers the inside of eyelids and the whole white part of the eye. It becomes red. In this occasion eyes produce histamine to defeat the allergy. It is basically estimated that around 1 in 4 people over the world suffer from eye allergies regularly. The good news for the rest are that they are not outspread from person to person.
While eye allergies may really be uncomfortable and irritating, it is important to know that they cause no permanent damage to your eyesight. You may experience temporary blurriness and pain, though.
It is very important to be able to identify eye allergies early, to tackle them more successfully.
2 main types of eye allergies
Eye allergies fall into two main categories: seasonal and perennial.
Seasonal allergies are ones that occur at a certain season. It is more probable that the season will be either early spring or summer. These times are dangerous because the warming weather causes a large number of allergens to appear in the air. Also, pollen from grasses, weeds and trees may irritate the eyes to cause allergies.
Perennial allergies occur throughout the year and are caused by exposure to certain allergenic stuff. Overall, we can look at this short list of material that bring about eye allergies: pollen, dust, grass, weeds, pet dander, perfume and cosmetics, food, inherit from parents, cigarette smoke, animal hair.
Eye Allergy symptoms
Some eye conditions are true “quick” hints that you are suffering from an eye allergy. Let’s look at the most common ones:
• Red and irritated eyes
• Tearing eyes
• Pain and burning
• Sensitivity to light
• Blurred vision
• Swollen eyelids
• Runny nose or sneezing
• Foreign body sensation
• Discomfort when you wear contact lens
Treatment and management
When you are already suffering from the allergy, the best solution is to see your eye doctor immediately. Usually allergies will be treated with some eye drops and medication, and following some safety indications.
If you are yet unaffected, remember to follow basic safety rules:
- If pollen is the cause of your allergy, avoid going out in dusty weather. If you do have to be out, wear eyeglasses and sunglasses! Keep your windows closed in the car and at home and use air conditioning. If eyes get dry, use special moisturizing eye drops.
- If you’re allergic to dust use some special allergen-reducing covers for your bed, especially for your pillow. Wash your bed covers and bed clothes more often using hot water.
- If pets are a reason for your eye allergy keep the animals out of your house. Don’t allow pets to enter your bedroom because they can jump on your bed and leave their hair around. Use hardwood or tile floors instead of using carpets: this will make it much easier to brush off the hair.
- The surface of contact lenses attracts allergens. So wash your lenses with a special liquid frequently.
- There are many people with eye allergies so there are many eye drops too. Always consult your ophthalmologist to pick ones that are suitable for you
- Never rub your eyes, because they transfer whatever you touch to your eyes directly!
Knowing and following these safety rules may be very helpful. It is much better to restrict some common items than to spend weeks suffering from allergies.