Allergic conjunctivitis, also known as eye allergies, is a common condition in which your eyes overreact to a specific allergen—causing the mast cells within your eye to release histamine, a chemical that forces the blood vessels in your eyes to swell. While some forms of allergic conjunctivitis are associated with traditional seasonal allergies, other eye allergies may be caused by exposure to environmental triggers, including pet dander, dust, tobacco smoke, chemicals, mold, and perfumes. This overview on the symptoms and treatment options for eye allergies can help you determine whether it’s time to schedule a visit with your ophthalmologist or optometrist.
The most common symptoms associated with eye allergies include redness, tearing, burning sensation, blurred vision, and abnormal mucous production. Eye allergies that are related to seasonal allergies may also lead to additional symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling, and nasal congestion.
As with all allergies, the best way to relieve your symptoms is to avoid the things that trigger an allergic response. For example, individuals whose allergies are triggered by things such as pollen or mold spores should avoid going outside on days when there is a high pollen index. Similarly, individuals whose symptoms are triggered by indoor allergens such as pet dander or dust may consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter or keeping pets out of bedrooms. People suffering from eye allergies may also consider wearing sunglasses or a hat with a wide brim in order to reduce the amount of allergens blowing into their eyes. Applying saline drops into your eyes can also help to wash away allergens from the ocular lining of your eyes after exposure.
When eye drops and anti-histamine medications do little to relieve your symptoms, it may be time to discuss your eye allergies with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Let our physicians with Eye Care Associates of St. Louis help alleviate your eye allergies and ensure the overall health of your eyes by contacting us at (314) 863-4200. You can also set up an appointment by visiting us online.