Watch Tower Clock Eye Center optometrist Dr. Michael Servi, OD, discuss severe dry eye treatments including bandage soft contact lenses, serum tears and scleral lenses. Most dry eye cases are treated with drops or punctal plugs, but severe dry eye cases require specialized care from the physicians at Tower Clock Eye Center. For appointments call... read more
- Posted on: Apr 19 2023
Spring eye allergies are here, but fortunately they’re generally easily treatable. Tower Clock Eye Center doctors are experts in treating common eye allergies and getting you ready to enjoy the warmer, sunnier days ahead.
Eye allergies happen when the eye encounters an allergen – something usually benign that causes the body to react. During the response, the body produces histamine, a substance designed to battle the allergen. As this happens, areas around the eyes become irritated, often causing them to burn, itch or produce an excess of tears. Additionally, eye allergies can coincide with other allergies including nasal allergies (stuffy nose, sneezing) and collectively are known as seasonal allergies.
Symptoms of eye allergies
Eye allergy symptoms often include:
- Irritated, swollen eyes
- Red, itchy eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Light sensitivity
Causes of eye allergies
Many everyday substances cause allergies to occur. Common airborne allergens include:
- Pollen (Ragweed, grass, trees etc.)
- Pet dander
Allergic reactions to stings, bites, cosmetics, drugs and specific foods can also affect the eyes as the body reacts. People can notice symptoms of other allergies in the eyes.
It sounds simple, but avoiding allergens is a key way to prevent an allergic reaction.
- Dust – For those allergic to dust, be sure to keep dust under control in your living space. Pay most attention to areas where you spend the most time, namely bedroom and living rooms. Wash bedding and upholstery often and be sure to use cleaners and mops/dusters that actively collect dust.
- Mold – High humidity is usually the cause for mold so maintaining moderate humidity levels will curb excess mold growth. Dehumidifiers work great to keep levels that won’t promote mold growth.
- Pollen – When the pollen forecast is high, stay away from the outdoors and be sure to close your windows. Use air conditioning when you can. High winds make conditions even worse when outside. When heading outdoors, eye protection with sunglasses or eyeglasses can help reduce contact with excessive amounts of pollen.
- Smoke – if smoke causes eye allergies it’s best to avoid it. Stay away from campfires and if you smoke cigarettes, it’s best to quit; eye allergies are among a myriad of other reasons why smoking cigarettes is bad for your health.
- Pets – if you have pets, it’s best to keep a distance when allergies are at their worst. Keeping one room in the house pet-free, best it be a bedroom, is a good idea. Frequent vacuuming or cleaning of floors can help reduce residual pet dander. And washing hands frequently is important too.
- Artificial tears – prescription and over the counter artificial tears help alleviate ocular allergies by washing away allergens. These drops also help moisturize irritated eyes. This is the most common form of treatment for eye allergies.
- Antihistamines – this medication can be found in drop form or oral medication and can help relieve eye inflammation and itchiness.
- Decongestants – these drops can lessen redness due to allergies.
- Steroid drops – these prescription drops treat more severe, chronic eye allergies and are often by prescription only.
If you’re experiencing eye allergies, schedule your appointment with our eye specialists by calling 920 499-3102.