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Eye Allergies & What’s Causing Them

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A woman walking outside during the springtime and she is suffering from allergies

The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and the trees are beginning to blossom. Everyone is enjoying the warm-ish weather after a long brutal winter except for you because you’re preparing yourself for battle – allergy season.

Red, itchy, and watery eyes – all common signs of allergies. Those who are familiar with it know that allergic conjunctivitis can be one of the most uncomfortable conditions to suffer through without medical treatment.

What is Allergic Conjunctivitis?

The conjunctiva is a membrane that covers your eyeball, as well as the inside of your eyelids. Unfortunately, it is highly susceptible to irritation from allergens, especially during allergy season.

Allergic conjunctivitis is quite a common condition as it is your bodies natural reaction to substances it considers to be harmful. Allergic conjunctivitis comes in two types:

  • Acute allergic conjunctivitis is a short-term condition during allergy season that results in swollen, itchy eyelids.
  • Chronic allergic conjunctivitis is less common and can occur year-round. Common symptoms include burning and itchy eyes as a result of allergens such as food, dust, and animal dander,

What is Causing my Allergic Conjunctivitis?

The problem isn’t so much the allergens in the air as it is your body’s reaction to them. Your body perceives these allergens as a potential threat, and as a result releases histamine.

The chemical is used to defend the body against allergens such as household dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander, and chemical scents.

Finding Relief from Eye Allergies

Thankfully for those who suffer there are ways to find relief from allergic conjunctivitis. Finding relief can be as simple as avoiding allergens, or as complicated as taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The method used depends on the person, as well as the severity of the condition.

At Home Remedies

To find relief at home without the use of prescribed medications, do your best to avoid allergens. For example, if you know that pollen causes your body to have an allergic reaction, stay indoors  as much as possible on days when pollen count is high.

Obviously you cannot stay indoors forever. As such, purchase a pair of wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from allergens.

Over-The-Counter Eye Drops

Most people find that over-the-counter eye drops are a great way to find relief from itchy, red, and watery eyes. Due to how common allergic conjunctivitis is, multiple brands of eye drops can be found at any pharmacy.

Before purchasing, read over the ingredients to ensure you are not allergic to any chemicals or substances used in the eye drops. If not, you may find yourself having a worse reaction than before.

Prescribed Medications

When over-the-counter medications are not strong enough, visit your doctor to receive an appropriate prescribed medication.

These medications could include antihistamines, decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids.

Contact Your Eye Doctor If Symptoms Persist

The medication you receive will depend on the severity of your condition, as well as your doctors diagnosis. If you still cannot find relief, consider visiting your doctor again to receive a stronger dosage or to try another method.

Written by Dr. Daniel Evans

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