Eye Allergies in Tuscaloosa, AL

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About Eye Allergies

Approximately 50 million U.S. adults and children experience seasonal allergies and have unpleasant symptoms. Sneezing, sniffling, and itchy noses are some of the most common allergy indicators, but so are red, watery, burning, puffy eyes. When your allergies affect your eyes, it's known as allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergies. The most common symptoms of ocular allergies are watery, itchy, bloodshot eyes, as well as swollen eyelids. Eye allergies are extremely common and will strike most patients with seasonal allergies eventually. Our eye care professionals in Tuscaloosa, AL provide multiple eye allergy treatments to reduce your irritation. Reach out to the caring team at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa to arrange a consultation.

What Are the Symptoms of Eye Allergies?

In conjunction with sneezing, sniffling, and a stuffy nose, most people who have common allergies tend to also suffer from discomfort in their eyes. The most obvious symptoms of ocular allergies are watery, irritated, bloodshot eyes. For most people, the symptoms that come with eye allergies also spread to the eyelids, causing them to become itchy, swollen, and irritated as well. These problems often create a strong compulsion to scratch or rub your eyes, but this will just make them feel worse. Individuals whose ocular allergies are quite bad can develop prickling sensations, sore eyes, and, sometimes, even sensitivity to light.

What Causes Eye Allergies?

Eye allergies occur when allergens, such as dust, pollen, pet dander, or other triggers, come into contact with your eyes. These allergens cause your body to release histamine, which causes redness, swelling, itchiness, and other symptoms we associate with allergic conjunctivitis. When managing eye allergies, it's important to understand which allergens are likely to trigger your symptoms so you can try to avoid them as much as possible.

How Are Eye Allergies Treated?

Though eye allergies are mostly nothing to worry about, their symptoms often match those of other more serious conditions. Your doctor will perform a complete eye evaluation to rule out any other eye conditions before diagnosing you with allergies. Our team will also review any past conditions, along with your existing symptoms, in order to determine whether a more concerning condition may be occurring. As with any allergic reaction, the most effective way to prevent eye allergies is to stay away from the allergen, though that is usually not easy. Patients who wear contacts can sometimes get some allergy relief by switching to disposable daily contacts because airborne allergens often build up on longer-wear lenses. Also, over-the-counter or prescription eye drops may be recommended to offer allergy relief.

Eye Allergies FAQ

What are the most common eye allergy triggers?

Eye allergies, or conjunctivitis, can be triggered by a wide variety of causes or combination of causes, including:

  • Plant pollen
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Smoke
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Soaps, detergents, and cosmetics
  • Some medications
  • Cologne or perfume

When should I see a doctor for my eye allergies?

If you've tried over-the-counter medications, eye drops, and at-home treatments without any relief, it may be recommended to schedule an exam at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa. It is especially recommended if your eye allergies are significantly affecting your vision or causing you pain and irritation.

How can I treat eye allergies at home?

Here are a few things you can try at home to reduce symptoms of eye allergies:

  • Avoid allergens
  • Apply a warm or cold compress
  • Keep your eyes clean
  • Refrain from rubbing the eyes
  • Use artificial tears
  • Switch from contact lenses to your glasses for a while
  • Take OTC antihistamine or allergy medications (always consult a doctor)

What is the source of eye allergies?
Our eyes create allergic reactions when irritated by foreign bodies. Common irritants include pollen, dust, animal hair and cells, or mold. Generally, these symptoms go away when we are leave the irritating environment, however some of these irritants are unavoidable and sometimes symptoms do not clear up within a reasonable amount of time.

Are eye allergies preventable?
Once a person has pinpointed their irritants, the best thing they can do is reduce the presence of those irritants in their environment. This includes keeping windows closed during allergy seasons and looking for hypoallergenic products. A person might also attempt to avoid heavily scented products, such as candles and cleaners, to reduce their allergy triggers.

How seriously should I take my eye allergies?
Eye allergies are bothersome, but if left untreated, they may prove to be truly harmful to your eyes. At inVision Ophthalmology, we often see patients whose allergies have been unaddressed and whose corneas have therefore become injured. Eye allergies can also make one more highly susceptible to pink eye and other bacterial infections.

Can eye allergies be cured?

While there is no permanent cure for eye allergies, symptoms can be managed and minimized through avoidance strategies, medications, and lifestyle adjustments.

Can children have eye allergies?

Yes, children can develop eye allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis can affect people of all ages, including infants and young children.

Receive Eye Allergy Relief

Typically, eye allergies are uncomfortable and frustrating, but fortunately, several treatment options are available. Our Tuscaloosa, AL ophthalmology practice works with patients on an individualized basis to provide the most effective solution for their unique needs. If you think you may have ocular allergies, call inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa to schedule your eye exam.

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