Frequently Asked Eye Allergy Questions
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer seasonal allergies (like Hay Fever) it is possible you also suffer from eye allergies. Your optometrists and ophthalmologist here at Spectrum Eye Physicians understand the impact itchy, puffy eyes and blurred vision have on their patient’s life, and we are here to help. With locations in Los Gatos, San Jose, Cupertino, and Santa Cruz, we can provide quality eye care and offer relief for your eye allergies. Since the first step to treatment is a correct diagnosis, we have provided some answers to the most frequently asked questions about eye allergies.
What is Eye Allergy?
The thin, clear membrane that covers both the inner surfaces of our eyelids and the front part of the eyeball (the white of the eye, or sclera) is called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva provides lubrication and protection for the eyes. When your body reacts to an allergen, the conjunctiva becomes inflamed and irritated. This allergic conjunctivitis is an eye allergy.
What Are the Symptoms of an Eye Allergy?
Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of eye allergies can also be symptoms of serious conditions or infections which may endanger your sight if left untreated. It is important to have an optometry examination so that your eye doctor can determine whether you suffer from allergies or a more serious condition. Symptoms of eye allergies include the following:
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery eyes
- Eye swelling
- ‘Shiners’ or ‘allergic black eye’
- Dryness or a foreign body feeling in the eye
What Are Common Causes of Eye Allergies?
The usual suspects are frequently the culprits. Seasonal allergens, pet dander, dust mites, lawn, and garden treatment products. Many indoor pathogens can and do cause symptoms, including those in cleaning products, hair care products, houseplant species, smoke, air purifiers that are not kept clean and face/eye makeup. Once again, your eye doctor will work with you to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
How Are Eye Allergies Treated?
After a proper diagnosis, some treatment options for eye allergies may include:
- Antihistamine eye drops
- Removing your contacts until conjunctivitis clears up
- Steroid eye drops if prescribed by your eye doctor
- Closing doors and windows if the allergic pathogen is outdoors based
- Using an air conditioner or air filters
- Keeping pets out of sleeping areas
- Artificial tears if approved by your eye doctor
- Avoiding eye makeup until allergy clears up
Optometry Services are Available
It is never necessary to ‘just live with’ the irritation of eye allergies. In San Jose, Los Gatos, Cupertino, and Santa Cruz, the staff at Spectrum Eye Physicians are ready to help you restore your proper eye health. Call (408) 884-2215 for an appointment today.