At some point, most people have experienced some form of eye reaction to allergens. If you have seasonal allergies, then you might notice that your eyes feel itchy or irritated when the ragweed levels are high. Or, you might have noticed that your eyes react by tearing up when you are exposed to other irritants in your environment, such as smoke. While most eye reactions are short-lived, you might need additional treatment if they happen frequently or generate symptoms that interfere with your daily activities.
What Triggers Eye Allergies?
Airborne allergens are what tend to cause eye irritation the most often. These can include pollen, animal dander, smoke, dust, and mold. Often, the same allergens that irritate your eyes can also cause sinus and respiratory symptoms that may include sneezing and mucus production.
Other eye allergies are caused by allergens that impact the organs directly. For instance, some people develop giant papillary conjunctivitis, which is usually related to wearing contact lenses. People with this type of eye allergy will need to work with their eye doctor in Brooklyn, NY to find a type of contact lens or cleaning solution that doesn’t cause irritation.
What Symptoms Are Associated With Eye Allergies?
Redness, swelling, and itching are the most commonly reported symptoms among people with eye allergies. You might also notice that your eyes produce more tears or become sensitive to light. If your eye allergies progress to an infection, then you might notice sticky discharge and severe swelling.
Can Eye Allergies Lead to Serious Complications?
Most people only deal with mildly annoying symptoms, but there are times when a general allergy can lead to serious issues for your eye health. For example, atopic keratoconjunctivitis can eventually cause scarring to the cornea and its surrounding membrane. Prompt treatment is the best way to avoid having an allergy threaten your vision.
How Can Eye Doctors Help Provide Relief?
Eye allergies sometimes clear up with your nasal symptoms when you use over-the-counter medications or seek immunotherapy treatment to address specific allergens. However, there are times when you might need to turn to an ophthalmologist for help. Eye doctors will use special equipment to make sure that your symptoms are caused by allergies versus other types of conditions. They may also perform tests to see if the allergies are affecting your vision. With severe allergies, your doctor can use intravitreal injections to place steroids directly into your eye where the medication can quickly start easing inflammation.
Eye allergies may start off mildly annoying but turn into a major problem within only a few minutes or days. If you are prone to allergies, then it is worth having your eye doctor take a look at your eyes. In the best-case scenario, they can recommend eye drops and lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms. If you do need more serious treatments, then putting your eyes in the competent hands of an experienced doctor gives you confidence that they can help you resolve your discomfort.