Last updated on October 23rd, 2017 at 04:47 am
Eye allergies – red, itchy, watery eyes that are troubled by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose amongst seasonal allergy patients– are typical.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 50 million individuals in the United States have seasonal allergies, and its occurrence is increasing– impacting up to 30 percent of grownups and as much as 40 percent of children. In addition to having symptoms of sneezing, blockage and a runny nose, most of these allergy patients also experience itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes and swollen eyelids.
And sometimes, eye allergic reactions can play a role in conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections.
If you believe you have eye allergies, here are a couple of things you must understand — consisting of practical pointers on how to get relief from your red, itchy, watery eyes.
What Causes Eye Allergies
Normally safe compounds that cause issues for individuals who are inclined to allergies are called irritants. The most common airborne irritants that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust and family pet dander.
Eye allergies also can be brought on by reactions to specific cosmetics or eye drops, including synthetic tears used for treating dry eyes that contain preservatives.
Food allergic reactions and allergies to bee stings or other insect bites typically do not affect the eyes as seriously as air-borne irritants do.
The body immune system generally defends the body against harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, to ward off illnesses. In people with eye allergies, nevertheless, the body immune system mistakes an irritant for a dangerous substance. This causes the immune system to create chemicals that fight against the allergen, even though it is safe. The response results in numerous annoying symptoms, such as itchy, red, and watery eyes. In some individuals, eye allergic reactions might likewise be associated with eczema and asthma.
Eye Allergy Relief
To get relief from your eye allergic reactions and itchy, watery eyes, you can take a couple of methods:
Avoiding irritants. As the old saying goes: “An ounce of prevention deserves a pound of cure.” (By the method, Benjamin Franklin stated that– the same guy who invented bifocals!) The best technique to controlling your eye allergic reaction symptoms is to do everything you can to limit your direct exposure to typical irritants you are sensitive to.
For instance, on days when the pollen count is high, stay inside as much as possible, with the air conditioning unit running to filter the air. Use high quality heater filters that can trap common allergens and change the filters frequently.
When you do go outdoors during allergic reaction season, wear wraparound sunglasses to assist protect your eyes from pollen, ragweed, etc., and drive with your windows closed.
Removing your contacts. Because the surface of contact lenses can draw in and accumulate airborne allergens, consider using just eyeglasses during allergic reaction season. Or think about changing to day-to-day disposable contacts that you discard after a single use to avoid the accumulation of irritants and other debris on your lenses.
Over-the counter eye drops. Because eye allergic reactions are so typical, there are a number of brand names of non-prescription eye drops available that are created to eliminate irritation, inflammation and watery eyes caused by allergies.
If your eye allergic reaction symptoms are fairly moderate, non-prescription eye drops for allergic reaction relief may work effectively for you and might be less costly than prescription eye drops or other medication. Ask your optometrist to suggest a brand name to attempt.
Prescription medications. If your allergy symptoms are reasonably severe or non-prescription eye drops are inefficient at offering relief, you might require your eye doctor to prescribe a more powerful medication.
Prescription eye drops and oral medications used to relieve eye allergies include:
- Antihistamines. Part of the body’s natural allergic action is the release of histamine, a substance that dilates blood vessels and making the walls of blood vessels abnormally permeable. Symptoms triggered by histamine consist of a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines reduce allergic reactions by blocking the attachment of histamine to cells in the body that produce an allergic response.
- Decongestants. Decongestants assist shrink swollen nasal passages for easier breathing. They likewise lower the size of capillary on the white (sclera) of the eye to eliminate red eyes. Typical decongestants consist of phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine. Combination drugs are available that contain both an antihistamine and a decongestant.
- Mast cell stabilizers. These medications cause modifications in mast cells that avoid them from launching of histamine and associated conciliators of allergic reactions. Because it may take a number of weeks for the full impacts of mast cell stabilizers to work, these medications are best used prior to allergy season begins as a method to prevent or reduce the seriousness of future allergic reactions (rather than to treat severe allergic symptoms that currently exist).
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAID eye drops might be prescribed to reduce swelling, inflammation and other symptoms associated with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, also called hay fever.
- Steroids. Corticosteroid eye drops are often prescribed to offer relief from acute eye allergy symptoms. However potential side effects of long-term use of these medications include high eye pressure, glaucoma and cataracts, so they usually are prescribed for short-term use just.
Immunotherapy. This is a treatment where an allergy professional injects you with percentages of allergens to help you gradually build up immunity.
Eye Allergies And Contact Lenses
Contact lens pain is a typical complaint during allergic reaction season, leading some wearers to question whether they are ending up being adverse call lenses.
The concern of being allergic to contacts likewise comes up from time to time when an individual begins wearing silicone hydrogel contact lenses after effectively using basic soft (hydrogel) contact lenses and experiences allergy-like symptoms.
Research studies have shown that the perpetrator behind eye allergies related to contact lens wear is not an allergy to the contact lens itself, however to substances that collect on the surface of the lenses.
In the case of switching from routine soft contacts to silicone hydrogel lenses, the surface area and chemical qualities of the lens product may bring in lens deposits more readily than the previous lens material, triggering pain.
Lots of eye care practitioners believe the best kind of soft contact lenses for people vulnerable to eye allergic reactions are daily disposable lenses that are discarded after a single use, which decreases the build-up of allergens and other debris on the lens surface.
Silicone hydrogel typically is the favored lens material for these lenses, since it allows considerably more oxygen to travel through the lens, compared with traditional soft contact lens materials.