New Patient Registration Request an Appointment

Managing Eye Allergies: Triggers and Relief Strategies

Spring has sprung and despite the beauty of newly bloomed flowers and an abundance of greenery all around, eye allergies are obstructing your ability to enjoy the view. If you are plagued by eye allergies, the changing of seasons can be a time of discomfort and frustration. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the eyes react to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites or mold spores. When exposed to these triggers, the immune system releases histamines, causing the blood vessels in the eyes to swell and the eyes to become red, itchy and watery.

Managing eye allergies involves understanding triggers and relief strategies. Common symptoms of eye allergies include a burning sensation, itchy eyes, puffy eyelids, watering or tearing of the eyes and sensitivity to light. Monitor your symptoms and try to pinpoint what triggers them. Keep track of your activities, environments and exposures. Once you identify the culprits, take proactive steps to minimize your contact with them. For instance, if pollen is a trigger, consider wearing sunglasses outdoors to shield your eyes, keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons and regularly washing your hands and face after being outside. Maintain cleanliness in your home to reduce household allergens that can be found in carpets, upholstery, bedding and vent systems. Practicing good eye hygiene can prevent further irritation and infection. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can exacerbate symptoms and introduce bacteria. Instead, gently rinse your eyes with cool water or saline solution to flush out allergens. Additionally, remove contact lenses before applying eye drops and clean them thoroughly to avoid exacerbating symptoms.

Over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops can provide quick relief from itching and redness associated with eye allergies. These drops work by blocking histamine receptors in the eyes, alleviating symptoms effectively. Cold compresses can soothe irritated eyes and reduce swelling. Place a clean washcloth soaked in cold water over your closed eyelids for a few minutes several times a day. Alternatively, chilled artificial tear drops can also provide relief. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, alleviating redness and discomfort. In some cases, over the counter or prescription allergy medications may be necessary to manage severe or persistent symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids can help alleviate eye allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune response. However, it’s imperative to use these medications under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid potential side effects and drug interactions.
There are many effective treatment options for taking the sting out of eye allergies. However, eye allergies can lead to more problematic eye conditions such as hay fever, chronic dry eye and pink eye that can cause inflammation and possible damage to the surface of the eye. If eye allergies persist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your eye doctor. For an eye exam at Skyline Vision Clinic, book online at WEBSITE or give our office a call at 719-630-3937.