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Allergies and Your Eyes

Allergies and Your Eyes

Allergies often result in miserable eye-related symptoms, such as tearing, redness, pain, blurred vision, and more. But what’s actually going on when symptoms occur? More importantly, is there anything that can be done to reduce or get rid of the problem?The following looks at the relationship between allergies and your eyes, as well as discusses the various treatments on offer.

Everything You Need to Know About Allergies and Your Eyes

  • What causes eye allergies?
  • Different names for eye allergies

What causes eye allergies?

Eye allergies are caused by coming into contact with a trigger (an allergen). This could be something like:

  • Pollen
  • Pet hair/dander
  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Mold

When this happens, the body produces a substance called histamine in response. This typically causes the symptoms that you probably know too well—tearing, burning, redness, itching, etc. For many, this also has nasal implications, with sneezing, coughing, a stuffy nose, and itchy sore throat also being common.

Different names for eye allergies

You might also hear eye allergies being referred to as allergic conjunctivitis or even dry eye However, dry eye is a slightly different condition that, while it has similar symptoms, isn’t necessarily caused by coming into contact with an allergen.  

Allergies and Your Eyes: diagnosis and treatment

  • Eye allergies diagnosis
  • Eye allergies treatment

Eye allergies diagnosis

Diagnosis of an eye allergy begins with an ophthalmologist carrying out various eye tests. An eye infection can have similar symptoms, so it’s important that this is ruled out. You’ll also be asked questions about your past medical history and whether there’s any family history of allergies. In some cases, a swab might be taken from the eye for analysis.

Eye allergies treatment

Once an eye allergy has been diagnosed, you’ll be asked to keep a diary of when the symptoms worsen. You may already know what triggers your allergy—but if you don’t, this can be a useful tool for determining the cause.Keeping away from the trigger is one obvious way to treat the problem. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, then using air conditioning and keeping windows closed can help. However, there are many other ways that your ophthalmologist can help to reduce the symptoms.

  • Oral antihistamines: These can be very helpful in relieving itchy, sore eyes. In more severe cases, you might be advised to take two different types. However, long-term use isn’t always recommended, so always follow your eye doctor’s advice.
  • Eye drops with antihistamine & mast cell stabilizers: These are often very effective and can dramatically reduce symptoms. Again, you must use them as per clinical advice.
  • Decongestants: These may come with or without antihistamines. However, they are only for short-term use as they can exacerbate symptoms if used for more than 2 or 3 days.
  • Artificial tears: Not only do these help wash the allergen away from the eyes, but they also nourish it with the correct type of tear. The problem with allergy tearing is that the moisture produced is usually of poor quality. Artificial tears help moisturize the eye correctly and reduce symptoms.
  • Steroids: Usually in the form of eyedrops, this prescription-only medication can be very effective. However, regular reassessment with your ophthalmologist is needed as long-term steroid use can be detrimental to health.
  • Immunotherapy: In severe cases that don’t respond to other treatments, immunotherapy shots might be considered.

The WBEC is a Center of Excellence for Dry Eye and Allergy Symptoms

Dry eye and/or allergies can make your life miserable. At the West Boca Eye Center, our expert clinicians work with patients to determine the ultimate eye allergy treatment. Where necessary, we’ll work with your general health physician or other specialists to create the right bespoke plan to reduce or eliminate your allergy conditions.Our world-leading clinicians are often able to treat dry eye and tearing conditions that have, so far, failed to respond to treatment. Discover more at and get in contact today to book an expert consultation.

Allergies and Your Eyes
Allergies and Your Eyes

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Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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