Springtime is prime time for allergies to affect millions of people. Not only can allergies cause you many problems with your sinuses, but they can affect your eyes too. If you notice that your eyes become red, itchy, watery and that you have swollen eyelids, spring eye allergies may be affecting you. Find out why these allergies happen, what they do to your eyes and how to combat them effectively!
You may be fine throughout the winter months, only to hit a wall with a runny and stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes and redness. What gives? Many people know that the spring is “peak” allergy season. The snow has melted, plants are growing and bugs are coming out in droves. Spring pollination of flowers, trees and more is a major reason why allergies peak during this month. However, some people may have problems with allergies peak at different times of the year depending on what they are allergic to and where they live. Even in different hemispheres, the “spring” season may be at a different time of the year than it is in the United States.
Allergies change depending on the region a person lives. Different trees, flowers, grasses, bugs and more grow in different parts of the United States. Moving to one area may cause you to have seasonal or eye allergies that you didn’t previously have. Anything that grows outside (grass, weeds, flowers, animals, trees, etc.) can be a possible allergen that can cause eye allergies.
Eye allergies are perhaps the most bothersome of all the seasonal allergies. Your eye allergies can affect your nose, your mouth and other parts of your face. Many patients have a domino effect when it comes to their seasonal allergies. An allergen will affect a person’s face, which starts to cause watery eyes, which leads to a runny and stuffy nose. Then you are breathing through your mouth, causing dry mouth and other problems. That is why you want to get on top of eye allergies when they start.
Did you know that there is an actual term for eye allergies? It’s called “allergic conjunctivitis”. Regular conjunctivitis is known as “pink eye”. When the term is used in conjunction with allergies, it is redness that comes from allergens instead of an infection. Some common signs of eye allergies include:
When you have abnormal eye symptoms that persist for more than 24-48 hours, make sure you call our office. You can never go wrong when you involve an eye care professional. We can advise you on at-home remedies for your eye allergies, if an allergen is the cause of your symptoms. Some great options for relieving eye allergy symptoms include:
Just because you are having itchy or watery eyes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have eye allergies. In fact, if you follow our tips and recommendations for reducing eye allergies, and nothing changes, the problem could be a different eye condition. You could be exposed to something (such as a new medication or eye drop) that is irritating your eye. Some patients can have dry eye, which causes the eye to sting or to have chronic pain because there is not enough lubrication for the eye tissues. Other patients may sleep with their eyes slightly open, causing eye irritation.
The only way to know for sure what is causing your eye symptoms is to have a comprehensive eye exam. The American Optometric Association recommends that every patient have an eye exam at least every 2 years if their eyes are healthy. For patients with common eye conditions, allergies or refractive errors, they may need to see the eye doctor every year. Don’t ever let eye problems continue for long periods of time, or you may have vision damage. If you think you have eye allergies or a similar problem happening with your eyes, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 333-2800!