Eye Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment in Plano and Celina
Allergies are among the most common of ailments in the United States. It’s estimated that 30-50% of Americans experience allergy symptoms, and 3 quarters of those feel at least some of those symptoms in their eyes. But just because eye allergies are common doesn’t mean that if you are one of the people who have them you can afford to carry on as usual. The right guidance from your optometrist in Celina or Plano, Texas can make a big difference on how you manage your condition and the extent that you are able to enjoy the world around you.
Consulting a Doctor of Optometry for Eye Allergies
Some people who experience eye allergy symptoms simply view their itchy, watery eyes as part of the bigger picture and stick with over the counter medications and eye drops in their attempt to function, but for many consulting a doctor of optometry about these symptoms can make a big difference in how they get through allergy season as well as how they care for their eyes long term.
Complications From Eye Allergies
For many eye allergies are not just uncomfortable, they can lead to more problems both short and long-term. One of the biggest problems comes from enhancing the basic symptoms of itchy and watery eyes by rubbing the eyes. While rubbing may be instinctive, it actually makes things worse because it releases histamines into the eye. Another big problem for allergy sufferers is allergic conjunctivitis, also known as hay fever. When this happens eyes become swollen and treatment often requires either anti-inflammatory medications, eye drops, and/or prescription corticosteroid eye drops. Although these methods bring relief, they can ultimately cause increased eye pressure and increase the risk of serious conditions, such as glaucoma or cataracts. A doctor of optometry in Celina or Plano can help monitor any side effects from medications in order to help limit your discomfort.
Dry Eye Confusion
There are many ways that dry eye and eye allergies can sometimes mimic one another. For example, dry eyes tend to burn, rather than an itch. If dry eye is present with or without allergies, it is important to get guidance from an optometrist to make sure the right condition is being treated, and that you don’t develop an allergic reaction to the preservatives that are present in some eye drop medications.
Limiting Your Eye Allergy Symptoms
Allergies can develop at any age, so depending on your experience you may or may not feel like a pro when it comes to dealing with them. Either way, it is beneficial to get professional help early in the season. At Lone Star Vision Eye Care & Optical, we have locations in both Plano, TX and Celina, TX and are ready to serve your eye care needs in whichever is most convenient for you and your family.
In the meantime, it is always advisable to do what you can to limit outbreaks. Some of the most common eye allergens include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold. Exposure to these things can be limited by keeping your home clean and installing filters and air purifiers in order to limit exposure. Outdoor symptoms can be lessened by wearing wraparound sunglasses and being mindful of pollen counts. If you wear contacts, consider giving your eyes a break from your lenses, or change disposable lenses more often to help keep your eyes from drying out or collecting allergens from the air.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eye Allergies
When you’re plagued by seasonal or year-round eye allergies, you’re probably wondering why you’re afflicted with this problem and what can be done about it. Rest assured that you can achieve eye allergy relief, with the aid of your friends at Lone Star Vision. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on this subject.
- What is an allergic reaction? An allergic reaction is an exaggerated or inappropriate immune system response to a perceived threat. The immune system creates histamine in large quantities, creating uncomfortable symptoms and sometimes even dangerous issues such as anaphylactic shock.
- What are the symptoms of eye allergies? Eye allergies often cause the telltale symptoms associated with conjunctivitis, including red or pink eyes, severe irritation, a fluid discharge from the eye, blurry vision and light sensitivity. Your eyes may also produce excessive tears. Eye allergies sometimes cause redness and inflammation of the eyelids as well.
- What are some common environmental eye allergy triggers? Many people’s eyes are sensitive to seasonal pollens and plant life, causing them to experience periodic eye allergy symptoms. Smoke, perfume, cleaning products, and other airborne substances may also trigger an allergic reaction.
- Could I be allergic to my contact lenses? Some people do indeed experience a kind of contact allergy when they try to wear certain types of contact lenses. for example, soft contacts that accumulate lots of debris may cause an irritating condition called giant papillary conjunctivitis.
- Can other eye issues mimic allergy symptoms? One of the confusing aspects of eye allergies is that they share many of the same symptoms with other eye conditions. Dry eye, for example, may cause redness, irritation and (oddly enough) watery eyes. A virus or bacteria could cause conjunctivitis that strongly resembles allergic conjunctivitis.
- How can your optometrists relieve my eye allergies? Our optometrists at Lone Star Vision can provide different eye allergy treatments based on the underlying cause of your allergy. Allergy eye drops, for instance, may contain corticosteroids to fight inflammation, although we must monitor the use of such allergy eye drops to minimize complications. Over-the-counter eye drops may also help, along with antihistamines. We can also help you identify and avoid environmental triggers. If your contacts are causing the problem, our optometrists can fit you with a different type of lens.