WHAT ARE Eye Allergies?
Around 50 million Americans are impacted by seasonal allergies (commonly referred to as hay fever), which causes unpleasant symptoms to manifest. Sneezing, congestion, and itchy noses are very well-known allergy indicators, but so are inflamed teary, itchy, and puffy eyes. When allergens irritate your eyes, you have allergic conjunctivitis, or ocular or eye allergies. Eye allergies are very common and usually develop in patients who experience hay fever. The discomfort caused by eye allergies can range from minor to severe; thankfully, treatment for eye allergies is typically easy and convenient. At our offices throughout Central PA, our team of board-certified ophthalmologists and talented optometrists can address multiple types of eye allergies and ease your discomfort. Contact our team at The Eye Center of Central PA to learn more or to schedule your consultation.
EYE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
In conjunction with sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose, many individuals with hay fever also develop irritation in their eyes. The most familiar symptoms of eye allergies are teary, irritated, or bloodshot eyes. For many adults and children, the symptoms associated with eye allergies also impact the eyelids, which means they become itchy, puffy, and red, too. These problems often create a strong impulse to scratch or rub the eyes, but this will only make the symptoms more intense. Patients whose eye allergies are severe can have stinging sensations, sore eyes, and sometimes light sensitivity.
WHAT Causes EYE ALLERGIES?
For the most part, there aren’t any out-of-the-ordinary causes for eye allergies. They are just your eyes defending themselves against the same allergens that cause other common allergic reactions, including congestion or a stuffy nose. Generally, eye allergies are the body's reaction to different types of pollen, mildew, dust, pet's fur, or other basic airborne allergens. A large number of people can also develop eye allergies to things, like perfumes, tobacco smoke, and cosmetics. Several types of allergens are frequently present on the fingers so kneading the eyes often worsens the inflammation.
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While eye allergies are generally not serious, their symptoms can look a lot like other types of conditions. We will perform a thorough eye evaluation to exclude anything serious before diagnosing you with allergies. Our team will also go over your medical history along with your existing symptoms to help figure out whether a more serious condition could be developing. It's possible that we will refer you to an allergist so that they can identify the specific allergens that could be causing your symptoms.
As is the case with any allergy, the most effective way to avoid eye allergies is to simply avoid the allergen, but needless to say, that is typically not simple or even possible. Patients who use prescription contacts and experience eye allergies can often get some relief by switching to daily contacts as airborne allergens can build up on longer-wear lenses. Also, many nonprescription eye drops can be purchased that are intended to reduce itchiness, redness, and watery eyes; however, these can provide little relief for most people. For those who have experienced this with over-the-counter eye drops, you may require prescription eye drops. It's also a possibility that you could have an eye infection rather than allergies.
Receive Eye Allergy Relief
In many cases, eye allergies are uncomfortable and annoying. Fortunately, there are many valuable options to get relief. Our team of skilled ophthalmologists and optometrists treats Central PA patients on a case-by-case basis so they can receive the most effective answer for their unique situation. Get in touch with The Eye Center of Central PA if you are experiencing eye allergies, and set up an eye exam at one of our locations near you.