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 Diagnosed?
Though eye allergies are usually harmless, their symptoms sometimes mirror other, more serious conditions. Dr. Choi will have to perform a comprehensive eye examination to make sure it's not anything more concerning before determining you have allergies. He will also review your medical history, along with your current symptoms, in order to figure out whether a more harmful condition could be occurring. It's possible that Dr. Choi may suggest you visit an allergy specialist so that they can identify the exact triggers that are causing your symptoms.
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.
"She was very thorough and patiently explained any questions or concerns I had. The friendly staff was a big plus for me also."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 30, 2023
"Great doctor. My son has been going to her since he was 3 years old. He is very near sighted. He is 15 years old now."- C.L. / Google / Jul 31, 2022
"I recently had an eye exam by Dr. Stephanie Bedsole. To start, I have a very complicated prescription. I have astigmatism, double vision, and dry eyes. I wear progressives with a prism (for the double vision) and a rotation for astigmatism.While my previous eye doctors have been competent it is Dr. Bedsole’s going over and above mere competence which allows her to stand out over and above other optometrists. To begin with, Dr. Bedsole answered several emails and questions I had even before I made my first appointment with her.Dr. Bedsole provided a very thorough eye exam. She answered all of my questions and at no time did I feel rushed. She double-checked my prescription once with my eyes not dilated and once with them dilated. Seriously, she performed the entire eye exam TWICE. At every stage of the exam, I asked her question after question. She very patiently and with expertise answered every question. She not only understood one issue I was having with the eye exam and knew exac"- B.D. / Healthgrades / Jul 30, 2022
"The office is clean and inviting. The staff was attentive and kind. The doctor was an expert in dry eyes and explained my condition and treatment plan very well. With her help and expertise I am able to wear contacts again! Best eye doctor in Tuscaloosa."- A.B. / Google / Jul 19, 2022
"I had RLE on both eyes three weeks ago and I’ve never seen this well in my life. From “coke bottle” glasses in the 2nd grade, to years of uncomfortable saucer-like contacts, to 20/20 vision today, this is a game changer. I am truly grateful for Dr. Choi and his staff. In addition to skill and professionalism, they are kind and personable."- C.M. / Google / Mar 20, 2022
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.
Can children be treated for eye allergies?
Children 3 and older can usually be treated for eye allergies. Over-the-counter and prescription eye drops and medications can often be utilized. We do suggest talking with your child's physician before starting a new medication.
Can screen time exasperate my eye allergies?
If you're experiencing itchy and dry eyes due to allergies, screen usage can exasperate your symptoms as these symptoms can also be brought on by digital strain.
What is the difference between seasonal and perennial allergies?
Season alergies are more common and ocur when the seasons are changing. Common irritants include weeds, grass, and pollen. Perennial alergies often occur more year-round and can be caused by things like animal dander, bust, mold, and more.
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.
What Can Happen If Eye Allergies Are Left Untreated?
Eye allergies go beyond itchy eyes, potentially leading to redness, swelling, and even long-term ocular damage to your vision if left untreated.Read
How Can Eye Allergies be Managed at Home?
Patients can alleviate and manage their eye allergies at home with eye drops, medications, and various lifestyle modification strategies.Read
What Are the First Signs of an Eye Allergy?
Eye allergies encompass many potential signs, including irritation, inflammation, itchiness, grittiness, excess watering, and similar discomforts.Read
Three Ways Seasonal Allergies Affect Vision
Allergies can really affect the eyes, causing itching, watering, and more. Learn the three ways allergies affect your vision and how to get relief.Read