Woman putting eye drops in her eyes

Eye Allergy Care

Allergies can affect the body in all kinds of crazy, unhappy ways and when an allergen goes after your eyes, you can find many of your favorite or most necessary daily tasks become a serious challenge. If you’re struggling with eye allergy symptoms, you’ll be glad to know that relief is close at hand.

Eye Allergies

An allergic attack is actually a misguided attempt by the body to protect itself. When a germ or other threatening substance comes into contact with the body’s tissues, the immune system produces antibodies and histamine to fight off the attacker. Sometimes, however, the attacker is nothing more than an innocent everyday substance, but you still get all of the side effects your body creates. The classic eye symptoms of allergies take the form of allergic conjunctivitis, a form of pinkeye. Redness, swollen eyelids, itchy eyes, blurred vision, and watery eyes can interfere with your comfort and your ability to drive, work, or read.

What’s setting off your eye allergies? The answer may be all around you. Airborne scents, smoke, industrial chemicals, pollen, pet dander, and dust particles can all create allergic reactions. Your allergen could also be lurking in the products you use in or around your eyes. Some cosmetics and contact lens cleaning solutions can contain chemicals that trigger eye allergies in certain people. You may even be having an allergic reaction to the proteins that collect on your contact lenses, a problem called giant papillary conjunctivitis.

A Variety of Allergy Treatment Options from Our Optometry Team

Our optometry team at Spectrum Eye Physicians is more than capable of diagnosing and treating eye allergies. We may administer allergy tests to pick out specific allergens that bother your eyes while also eliminating other possible causes for your symptoms. Once we’ve identified your allergy triggers, we can recommend strategies such as wraparound sunglasses (to keep wind-blown particles away from your eyes), environmental, or lifestyle changes, or a switch to different eye makeup, contact lenses, or contact lens cleaners. Antihistamines and other medications can also help you manage eye allergy symptoms. 

Eye Allergies FAQs

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 eye doctors 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.

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.

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
  • Grittiness
  • Eye swelling
  • Redness
  • ‘Shiners’ or ‘allergic black eye’
  • Dryness or a foreign body feeling in the eye

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.

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

Contact Spectrum Eye Physicians Today!

Schedule your appointment online or call us at 408-884-2215. No matter which of our locations you visit, you will receive the latest in eye care technology from friendly eye doctors and staff committed to serving you.

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