Eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis is one of the most challenging forms of allergies. They cause a burning sensation in the eyes which results in a lot of itching until the eyes become red and watery. Allergy clinics have helped to bring awareness to the causes of ocular allergies and how they can be managed effectively. The good thing with eye allergies is that they are not life-threatening and the worst thing they can do is cause temporary blurriness.
Common Causes of Eye Allergies
- Indoor allergens such as mold and dust mites
- Irritants such as perfume and cigarette smoke
- Outdoor allergens such as pollen, dust, and wind
A visit to an ocular allergy clinic can establish the exact trigger of your eye allergy by undergoing several eye tests.
How Are the Allergies Treated?
1. Over the Counter Medications
These provide temporary relief to most eye allergies. However, they work hand-in-hand with other self-care methods. For example, if you are allergic to pollen and you are driving, you will have to roll up your windows to prevent the pollen from affecting you, especially in high season. Wearing glasses will also prevent dust from settling on your eyes and triggering an allergic reaction.
Decongestant drops help to reduce eye redness caused by vasodilation of the blood vessels. Rubbing the eyes often leads to the redness, but the decongestant cannot be used for more than a week. Persistent eye redness is usually an indication of an infection, which may require antibiotics.
Artificial tears help to moisturize your eyes especially if you are affected by outdoor allergies such as wind which dries up your eyes. They also help to clean your eyes and remove any allergens such as dust.
Oral antihistamines offer temporary relief since long-term use will further dry the eyes leading to more complications. Therefore, oral antihistamines are not the first line treatment options for ocular allergies.
2. Prescription Medicines
These drugs offer long-term relief and are only obtained from an allergy clinic. The allergist will conduct several tests before issuing the most suitable medication for your eye allergies. Some of the prescription medicines include; mast cell stabilizers and decongestants.
In severe allergic reactions, allergic shots are administered as a form of immunotherapy. Allergens trigger the production of excess histamine, which results in the burning sensation in the eyes and watery eyes.
Corticosteroids are also part of prescription medications, which help to reduce eye inflammations, and the allergists may also recommend mild painkillers if you are in severe pain.
Eye allergies are one of the most common forms of allergies affecting a good number of people. Nonetheless, a professional ocular allergy clinic will be able to pinpoint the exact trigger allergen and offer you the best solution.