If you are unsure of the cause of your eye allergies, or if you would like guidance in properly treating and managing them, we recommend seeing our Optometrist for a consultation. An accurate diagnosis is important to maintaining your overall ocular health, as eye allergies share symptoms similar to other eye conditions
When your body’s immune system reacts to an substance that is normally harmless, it is known as an allergy. When that particular allergen (pet dander, grass, hay, etc) comes in contact with your eyes, your body responds accordingly. Cells in your eyes, called mast cells, release histamine to combat the allergens your immune system has deemed harmful. The result is itchy, irritated, red eyes. Unlike viral or bacterial conjunctivitis1, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
There are a number of possible causes for your eye allergies. They may include:
The cause of your allergies will dictate which symptoms you experience. You may notice a combination of the following:
You may also suffer from nasal allergies and experience an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing.
The cause of your allergies will determine the best course for managing and treating your symptoms. Our Optometrist can assess your overall eye health during an eye exam2 to determine the cause of your allergies, and to make sure there are no other underlying issues.
There are a number of adjustments you can make to your lifestyle, as well as medications, to help alleviate the discomfort you experience with your eye allergies.
Immunotherapy – Allergy shots or oral medication