WHAT ARE Eye Allergies?
Around 50 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies (commonly called hay fever) and develop frustrating, unpleasant symptoms. Sneezing, congestion, and runny noses are familiar symptoms, but so are inflamed, teary, and puffy eyes. When allergic reactions irritate your eyes, this is known as allergic conjunctivitis, also known as eye allergies. Eye allergies are quite common and will happen to the majority of patients with seasonal allergies sooner or later. The symptoms caused by eye allergies can be slight to severe, but they almost always have easy treatments. At our office in Birmingham, AL, our team provides multiple eye allergy treatments to reduce your irritation. Call us at inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham to find out more or plan your consultation.
Symptoms of EYE ALLERGIES
On top of sneezing, sniffling, and an itchy nose, most people with common allergies also deal with discomfort in their eyes. The most well-known symptoms of eye allergies are watery, itchy, inflamed eyes. For most people, the symptoms associated with eye allergies also occur with the eyelids, causing them to become itchy, puffy, and inflamed as well. These symptoms often produce a strong need to rub or scratch the eyes, but giving in will just make the symptoms more intense. People whose ocular allergies are quite bad can experience burning sensations, aching eyes, and in some cases, even light sensitivity.
How Are Eye Allergies Treated?
Just like with any allergic reaction, the surest way to prevent eye allergies is to stay away from the allergen, though, needless to say, that is not always easy or even achievable. People who wear contacts and experience eye allergies could reduce their symptoms by using daily contacts, as airborne allergens tend to build up on extended-wear lenses. Also, many over-the-counter eye drops can be found that are intended to decrease eye allergy symptoms, but for a lot of patients, they provide only partial relief. If you have been disappointed with the results from nonprescription eye drops, you may need prescription eye drops, or you could have developed an eye infection that may be more serious than allergies. In such cases, an antibiotic can be prescribed to address the infection.
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Eye Allergy FAQs
Where do eye allergies come from?
Generally, our eyes produce allergic reactions when foreign bodies enter them. Common irritants include pollen, dust, animal hair and cells, or mold. Generally, these symptoms clear up when you are removed from the irritating environment, but you may wish to contact our Birmingham, AL office if some of these irritants are unavoidable or if your symptoms do not clear up within a few hours or days.
Can eye allergies be prevented?
If you have pinpointed your irritants, the best thing you can do is reduce their presence in your environment. This includes keeping windows shut during allergy seasons and looking for hypoallergenic products. You may also wish to avoid heavily scented products, like candles and cleaners, to reduce your allergy triggers.
How serious are my eye allergies?
Eye allergies are certainly bothersome, but if left untreated, they may prove to be more harmful to your eyes. At inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham, we see patients whose allergies have been unaddressed and whose corneas become injured. You may also become more susceptible to pink eye and other bacterial infections.
Receive Eye Allergy Relief
In general, eye allergies are unpleasant and disruptive, but thankfully, there are many effective options for treatment. Our skilled optometrists and ophthalmologist in Birmingham, AL treats patients on a personalized basis to see to it that they get the best solution for their specific needs. Call inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham if you have eye allergies, and set up an eye exam.
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