Do you suffer from swollen, itchy, and red allergy eyes? You’re certainly not alone! It’s estimated that 10-30% of the population today is affected by some form of eye allergy. Allergies are a common complaint that we hear from our patients, and luckily, treatment of them is often fairly simple. There are, however, certain eye diseases that can mimic these same struggles, so be sure our Nashville eye doctor is involved in determining any root cause of your symptoms.
Understanding & Treating Allergy Eyes
Allergy Eyes is really just a casual name for something called allergic conjunctivitis. Just as there are many different causes for allergy eyes, there are also a wide range of symptoms and treatments available. Of course, consulting with our leading Nashville eye doctor is the best way to understand the underlying causes of your allergy eyes and establishing a treatment protocol that sets you up for continued eye health.
If you need more help understanding and treating your eye-based allergy symptoms, get in touch with Music City Optical today, home to Dr. Connie James, leading Nashville Eye Doctor. Book your appointment today!
Causes & Symptoms of Allergy Eyes
There are many different causes of allergic conjunctivitis, i.e. allergy eyes. The most common culprits are the same as for other often related allergies: pollen from grasses, weeds, and trees, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and other general eye irritants like smoke, fumes, and fragrances. If you want to determine what exactly is causing your symptoms, a dermatologist can test you for specific allergens.
In general, our eyes are an easy target for small micro particles and allergens, which is, at least in part, why there’s an increased prevalence of allergy eyes. In response to encountering one of these allergens, your body releases chemicals like histimines in an effort to remove the offending particle – and it’s these histamines that produce the inflammation and cause you to experience symptoms.
Symptoms for allergy eyes can vary from patient to patient and even from exposure to exposure. The most common symptoms that you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, however, include things like itching, redness, burning, watery eyes, and even swelling of the eye and eyelids.
Common Treatments for Allergies
Treatments for allergy eyes, much like standard pollen and pet allergies, are generally pretty straightforward. Traditional therapies include things like the following:
- Over the Counter Eye Drops (artificial tears). Many of these can be purchased over the counter and bring relief by targeting specific symptoms, such as dry or itchy eyes. Relief from these is generally short-term.
- Prescription Eye Drops. These are generally recommended for moderate to severe allergies and can include a variety of different approaches. Options here include antihistamine eye drops, mast cell stabilizer eye drops, NSAID Eye drops, corticosteroid eyedrops, and more.
- Oral Antihistamines. This class of medication is also what you’d take for other non-eye-related allergies.
- Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots). This is a great option if you want to improve your overall reaction to allergies and generally is used for moderate to severe allergies.
Though identifying allergy eyes may feel simplistic, it’s important to know that some of these symptoms can also be caused by much more severe eye-related diseases. To ensure you aren’t experiencing symptoms from something else, it’s important to be examined by an eye professional such as Dr. James.
We utilize a range of modern tools and technologies to examine your eyes, and can help you with a definitive diagnosis. From there, if simple allergies are all you’re dealing with, we’d be happy to help you settle on a treatment program that fits your lifestyle. Get started towards healing your allergy eyes by scheduling an appointment with our leading Nashville eye doctor, Dr. Connie James.