If your eyes are itchy, watery, and red, then these symptoms may indicate that you have eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis. Eye allergies are believed to be less common than nasal allergies, and for that reason they are often under-diagnosed. If you are suffering symptoms such as those mentioned above, then you should consult with an ophthalmologist, to find out how best to treat eye allergies.
About Eye Allergies
An eye allergy is the response of the immune system to allergens that come in contact with the eyes. Eye allergies are usually triggered by outdoor allergens such as grass and pollen, and inside irritants such as pet dander and mold. Depending on the triggers, eye allergies may either be seasonal, or occur throughout the year.
While these allergens are ordinarily harmless, there are times when the immune system considers them a danger, and overreacts by attacking them. In response to the perceived danger the immune system releases an inflammatory chemical called histamine, which causes the eyes to swell and itch. Some eye allergies are accompanied by symptoms such as sniffling and sneezing, which are normally associated with nasal allergies.
There are different treatments that can be administered to deal with eye allergies, but the choice usually depends on what the patient is allergic to. Eye drops and oral medications are the most common options for short term relief. Antihistamine eye drops are often prescribed. In the long term, patients are advised to try and prevent the development of eye allergies, by avoiding potential irritants.
If you have any of the classic symptoms of eye allergies, then you should schedule an eye exam right away. If you are in or around the Fort Lauderdale area, then you can contact the Center for Ophthalmology and Laser Surgery, to find out how to treat eye allergies. Dr. Michael Loeffler and his team help patients get relief for their eye allergies, so they don’t have to suffer all season long.