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Eye allergies affect millions of people each year. Those with seasonal allergies often expect to stock up on over-the-counter medicine as an attempt to resolve their upcoming seasonal allergies, but this is not largely effective.

It is a known fact that allergies occur during the spring season, but have you ever thought about why? Did you know that there are an assortment of effective treatments and even ways to prevent your seasonal allergies?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Allergic Conjunctivitis, or eye allergies, are caused by an allergen irritating the eye. Allergic Conjunctivitis can also be caused by hay fever, which has similar symptoms to common allergies.

Types

There are two types of common eye allergies that most people experience. Perennial allergies occur year-round. This type of allergy tends to be the most mild type. The second type, seasonal allergies, often occurs in the fall, spring, or summer seasons and is largely dependent on the type of pollen causing the allergic reaction.

Some people may feel silly contacting a doctor because of common allergy symptoms, however, allowing a doctor to provide a proper diagnosis can be essential to understanding your eye allergies. This is because more serious types of allergies can have damaging and long-lasting effects if you are not careful.

Other common types of eye allergies can include: vernal keratoconjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, contact allergic conjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Causes

Understanding the cause of your eye allergens can help determine the right course of treatment. There can be several allergens that can irritate your eye. Some of the most common irritants include:

Tree pollen, which can stem from the following types of trees:

  • Birch
  • Cedar
  • Alder
  • Willow
  • Poplar

Grass/Weed pollen, which can stem from the following types of grasses and weeds:

  • Bermuda
  • Saltgrass
  • Fescue
  • Johnson

And Fungi and Mold spores

The body sees these allergens as an attack on the immune system, its defense mechanism is a chemical known as histamine. When the histamine is released, the result is a chemical reaction that causes blood vessels in the eye to leak. The leak then causes the eye to become red and swollen.

Allergies can be accompanied by several symptoms, in addition to red or swollen eyes.

Symptoms

Because we experience these harmful effects from allergies, we often have to take antihistamines to help combat these irritants. The effects we experience from these irritants can result in a range of symptoms. Some of the symptoms that accompany allergies include:

  • Itchy, watery, or dry eyes

It is important to note that if you are only experiencing dry eyes, it could be a symptom of dry eye. For treatments and more information on this disease, visit or contact our specialists for additional help.

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Congestion

Treatments

Here are some tips to help prevent and reduce eye symptoms that are caused by allergies:

  • Refrain from rubbing or touching your eyes excessively. Constantly touching your eyes can increase irritation and worsen your symptoms.
  • Use medicated eye drops to relieve burning as needed. Be sure that you consult a doctor before use and use as intended.
  • Avoid long exposure to the elements. Being outdoors for too long could make your symptoms worse.
  • Wash your clothes when exposed to irritants that can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Keep your eyes healthy - It is important to not only care for your eyes during allergy season but all the time. Eating certain foods that are high in Vitamin K are an easy way to improve eye health.

Keep in mind the simple tips we have provided to ensure eye health, in addition to a specific course of treatment.

Discovering the underlying cause of your allergies is the first step to treating them. Once your allergy type is diagnosed, a course of treatment can be identified. The treatment will target your specific allergy symptoms.

Do not be defeated this allergy season! Take charge of your health and well-being by making an appointment.

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