Spring is officially here, which means allergies are in full swing! Eye allergies develop when the body’s immune system overreacts to something in the environment, causing tiny blood vessels to leak and eyes to become itchy, red, and watery.
Eye allergies share symptoms with some eye diseases, making accurate diagnosis imperative. The symptoms of eye allergies can range from mildly annoying redness to inflammation severe enough to impair vision.
The first approach in managing eye allergies is to avoid any known allergens. Stay indoors as much as possible during the mid-morning and early evening hours, when pollen counts are at their peak, and wear sunglasses when outdoors. This will minimize the amount of pollen entering your eyes. Avoid using window fans that can draw pollen and mold into the house. Be sure not to rub your eyes, as this will further irritate them and could worsen your condition.
Many allergens that trigger eye allergies are airborne, so you can’t always avoid them. Artificial tears can temporarily wash allergens from the eye, which often become dry when red and irritated. These drops, which can be refrigerated to provide additional soothing and comfort, are safe and can be used as often as needed.
If symptoms persist, be sure to consult your optometrist to determine which treatment options are right for you. They will review your medical history and symptoms, as well as conduct tests that can reveal an eye allergy. If you suffer from severe eye allergies, click here to schedule an appointment with an IEC doctor!