Allergies & How They Affect Your Eyes
Jun 10th, 2016 - Blog


It is very common to fall under the pressure of eye allergies. Allergies is defined as a damaging immune response by the body to a substance. Examples of these substances are commonly reported as pollen, fur, particular foods, dust; which then becomes hypersensitive. Believe it or not, allergies are highly common and almost everyone experiences a hypersensitive attack. What’s commonly misunderstood about allergies is the fact that it not only affects the nose, but affects the eyes as well. Eye allergies are common, especially during the spring and fall seasons.


Many patients do not know what triggers eye allergies, and how to prevent the triggers from occurring. Outdoor allergens are commonly from the pollen within grass, trees and weeds. Outdoor allergens are just as common as indoor allergens, which can be pet dander, dust mites, and mold. There is a difference between allergens and irritants. Allergens create an allergic reaction while irritants create the same like-symptoms, but is not an allergic reaction. Irritants can range from cigarette smoke, perfume, or diesel exhaust. There are alarming symptoms that will show to signal an eye allergy warning.

 The most common symptoms are:

  • Itchy watery eyes
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Clear, watery discharge


The best way to treat eye allergies are to avoid the triggers. Here is a list of ways that the triggers can be avoidable:

  • Closing all windows to reduce the exposure to pollen
  • Using air conditioning verses opening a window
  • Wearing glasses or sunglasses
  • The usage of mite-proof bedding covers
  • Using a dehumidifier to control mold
  • Washing hands frequently to avoid irritants going inside the eye

If avoiding the triggers starts to become troublesome or not possible, one can always treat their symptoms with:

  1. Artificial tears: Artificial tears can temporarily wash the allergens from the eyes while moisturizing the eye. Artificial tears may be refrigerated to enhance the soothing and comfort of the drops. Artificial tears may be used at any time when needed, and are safe for the eyes.
  2. Decongestant eye drops: OTC Decongestants reduce the redness by narrowing the blood vessels in the eye.
  3. Oral antihistamines: This treatment is considered as mildly effective in reducing the itchiness associated with eye allergies. This treatment may cause additional dryness that may heighten the eye allergy symptoms. Oral antihistamines typically cause sedation, excitability, and dizziness.


Eye Allergy Test

To determine if you have eye allergies or not, consider the following questions:

1) Do allergies run in your family?

2) Do you have itchy watery eyes, especially during spring pollen seasons?

3) Have you ever had conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

4) Do you have itchy watery eyes when near specific animals?

5) Are you frequently taking antihistamines or decongestants to control sneezing, coughing or congestion?

6) During spring and fall seasons do you find more comfort within indoors with the air conditioning?

7) Do your eyes tear when exposed to certain cosmetics or lotions?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, than you may have eye allergies. Schedule an appointment for an eye exam to determine what the next step is to improving your eye allergies. Annual eye exams are needed to check the prescription and overall health of the eyes. To ensure your eyes are in tip-top shape, especially during allergen seasons, make sure to visit your eye doctor with any concerns you may have regarding the health of your eye. Specific health condition may affect the intensity of your eye allergies.

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