Allergies affect millions of people each year, with most complaining of red, itchy eyes caused by allergic conjunctivitis. Those who develop allergic conjunctivitis experience eye redness, increased tears and itching that makes it hard to see. This condition can also cause pink eye, which is a highly contagious illness found mostly in young kids. By having an eye exam, your optometrist can diagnose your allergic conjunctivitis and give you options to treat it that will help you feel better in a matter of hours. Find out how allergic conjunctivitis occurs and how you can treat it with this guide!
Each year, millions of people across the country suffer from allergic conjunctivitis, or in other words, eye allergies. Most people experience some form of allergies during the spring and summertime, and most are related to their eyes. There is tissue that surrounds the outside of the eyeball called the conjunctiva, and whenever this becomes inflamed, allergic conjunctivitis occurs. This tissue is meant to keep your eyes moist but this cannot happen whenever it is damaged. Most patients report red and itchy eyes, along with excessive tearing. Sometimes the nose can become involved, as well, and become annoyingly itchy. Allergic conjunctivitis often occurs in both eyes and causes swollen eyelids and even sensitivity to light. These eye allergies can make it difficult to be outside, stay active and often interfere with your ability to work. Not only that, but allergic conjunctivitis can be painful and hard to avoid if you have certain allergies. Allergens are the main cause behind these issues, and some of the worst ones include dust, pet dander and pollen from trees, grass and ragweed. Even smoke and mold can cause eye allergies, especially if you’re around it a lot. Although less common, certain perfumes, medicines and cosmetics can cause eye allergies, as well. However, although annoying, allergic conjunctivitis is easily treatable and preventable if you take the right precautions. The following tips will greatly reduce your reaction to these allergies and improve your symptoms.
Whether you’re suffering from tree allergies or have been around an animal recently, there are many ways to clear up your symptoms without breaking your bank. Saline or over-the-counter eye drops are one of the first recommendations that medical professionals give to treat early onset symptoms of eye allergies. Eye drops should only be used short-term as they can sometimes cause dependency and prevent your eyes from naturally moisturizing themselves. There are certain prescription medications that your doctor can prescribe you, as well, to last for the few weeks when pollen is at its highest during springtime, or you can buy off-brand allergy medication at your local pharmacy. For extreme allergies, it might be a good idea for you to receive allergy shots each month depending on what your doctor recommends. These shots are highly recommended for those who are deathly allergic to certain triggers, but one should always consult with their doctor before receiving any type of injection.
Some people have a genetic disposition to experience allergic conjunctivitis while others may only show minor symptoms that don’t affect their day-to-day life. It’s always good to be prepared, though, so when the seasons change you aren’t struggling to see clearly. For starters, do your best to not touch or rub your eyes, especially after touching an animal, grass or other allergen trigger. Wash your hands with soap and water whenever you do come into contact with an allergen, and wear sunglasses while outside to keep pollen from getting in your eyes. During high pollen seasons, keep your windows in your house and car shut. Try to use their air conditioning units rather than letting in air from outside because this is an easy way that pollen can enter into your house and car. Make sure that you wash your bedding and pillow cases with hot water often to remove any allergens, like pet dander, from them, and vacuum your carpet regularly. We’re constantly tracking in allergens from outside as we and our pets walk around our houses, so try to maintain a clean living space to help keep allergic reactions down.
There are many forms of conjunctivitis that affect our eyes, including bacterial, viral and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis itself is commonly referred to as pink eye, and it is highly contagious and causes a reddish appearance to the eyes. Green and yellow mucousy discharge often accompanies pink eye, which makes it hard to open your eyes or see. Children most often develop pink eye, but adults can get it, too. Make sure to understand the difference between red eyes from allergic conjunctivitis and that of pink eye, because treatment will be entirely different.
Our team at Peeper’s Optical cares about your family’s eye needs and can help you overcome allergic conjunctivitis. If you’re suffering from eye allergies and are searching for relief, call our office today at (303) 333-2800 for a consultation. Don’t let your eye allergies control your life; call today to get clear vision again!