What are Eye Allergies?

Published on
February 24, 2022

People often experience allergic reactions in their eyes, and it is important to recognize these symptoms, to prevent them in the future, and to know how to proceed in such situations. Allergies usually affect both eyes, and they are not contagious. 

 

What are the symptoms of an eye allergy?

The moment an allergy reaches the eye, it triggers a whole allergic reaction in which our mast cells release histamine. This causes a number of symptoms.

  • Itchiness, which is the most common symptom of eye allergies
  • Redness
  • Puffiness or swollen eye lids
  • Tearing or watery eyes
  • Overall uncomfortable feeling in our eyes
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Feeling like something is in the eye (dirt/sand/dust)
  • Light sensitivity

How can an eye allergy be avoided?

The best way to prevent eye allergies is to avoid the allergen that causes them. Thus, if you know you're allergic to something, try to avoid it. It's really important not to scratch your eyes, as that can aggravate the symptoms. 

Other tips include: 

  • Keep your windows in the house and car closed during allergy season 
  • Wear sunglasses when outside to prevent pollen
  • Use a vacuum or air filter in your bedroom 
  • Visit an eye doctor to understand the best treatment options for your symptoms

What are the different ways of treating eye allergies?

There are several ways to treat eye allergies. 

 

Artificial Tears: 

In the case of mild eye allergies, over the counter artificial tears are typically prescribed. Artificial tears should be stored in the refrigerator so that when you use the eye drops, they provide a cool sensation, and they soothe your eyes and ease any symptoms. 

 

Antihistamine eye drops or mast cell stabilizer eye drops

Antihistamine eye drops or mast cell stabilizer eye drops can be prescribed for eye allergies that are more severe to deal with the cause of why your symptoms are happening as a result of the whole allergic reaction and inflammatory process going on. Most often, pataday or pazeo eyedrops are prescribed. The patient only has to apply one drop each eye per day. 

 

General Antihistamines

However, if it still does not help and your allergies are a little bit more severe than that, you can also take oral antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec. Furthermore, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you can take these prophylactically so that you won't have the harsh symptoms as you would when the season comes and you're really allergic and have puffy eyes.

 

Cool Compresses

Another way to reduce the symptoms of eye allergies is to apply cool compresses over your eyes to really soothe them and reduce puffiness. 

 

Steroid Eye Drops

In the case where eye allergies are really severe and nothing seems to work, your eye doctor may prescribe you steroid eye drops. These really help to reduce any symptoms of itchiness and calm your eye. However, you must visit your eye care provider so that they can prescribe the right steroids since there are side effects of these steroids, such as increased eye pressure. Having regular follow ups with your eye doctor is really important when using steroid eye drops for eye allergies.

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  • Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


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  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


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  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Kinkie F.

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