Seasonal allergies affect around 50 million people in the United States. Apart from the common symptoms such as sneezing, congestion and runny nose, many people also experience itchy, watery, red eyes and swollen eyelids. In some cases, eye allergies can contribute to eye infections such as conjunctivitis.
In this post, your local optometrist, Nova Vision Center, discusses what you need to know about eye allergies.
Causes of Eye Allergies
Allergens like pollen, mold, dust and pet dander can trigger allergic reactions. However, eye allergies can also be caused by eye makeup and eye drops. Other causes include food allergies and insect bites or stings, though these typically don’t cause severe reactions like airborne allergens.
Symptoms from eye allergies can resemble symptoms from other eye conditions, making it difficult to pinpoint the true underlying cause of your ailment. It’s important to visit your eye doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms for proper diagnosis and effective treatment.
Eye Allergy Management
You can prevent and control allergy symptoms by avoiding allergens you’re sensitive to. Stay indoors as much as possible especially when the pollen count is high. Use high-quality furnace filters and replace them regularly.
Wear wraparound glasses if you need to go outdoors and drive with windows closed to protect your eyes from allergens. It’s recommended to avoid wearing contacts during the allergy season. You can wear prescription eyeglasses or daily disposable contacts, which you discard after one use.
Over-the-counter eye drops can alleviate itchiness, redness and watery eyes from allergies. If over-the-counter eye drops aren’t helping, consult your eye doctor for prescription medication. Your doctor may prescribe antihistamines, decongestants, mas cell stabilizers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids.
Visit Nova Vision Center for your eye care needs. We are your local provider of family eye care, contact lenses and eyeglasses. Call us at (703) 291-0080 or request an appointment online. We assist patients in Alexandria and Arlington, VA.