About Eye Allergies
Around 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies (commonly called hay fever) and develop annoying, sometimes painful symptoms. Sneezing, sniffling, and itchy noses are some of the most common allergy indicators, but so are inflamed, teary, irritated, puffy eyes. When allergens affect your eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis, or eye allergies. The irritation caused by ocular allergies can be mild to severe, but most of the time, they are easy to treat. At his practice in Cape Coral, FL, ophthalmologist Dr. James Croley offers a variety of treatments to help ease and manage the symptoms of common eye allergies. Reach out to the Cataract & Refractive Institute of Florida to learn more or to arrange a private consultation with Dr. Croley. We also offer locations in Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs.
Symptoms of eye allergies
In conjunction with sneezing and sniffling, many individuals with seasonal allergies tend to also deal with symptoms that affect their eyes. The most common symptoms of eye allergies are excessive tears, irritation, itchiness, and redness. For a lot of allergy sufferers, the symptoms associated with ocular allergies also affect the eyelids, which means they become itchy, puffy, and inflamed, too. These issues often create an extreme desire to rub or scratch the eyes, but this will just make the symptoms worse. Adults and children whose eye allergies are quite bad may have burning sensations, aching eyes, and in some cases, even light sensitivity.
Causes of eye allergies
Usually, there aren’t any out-of-the-ordinary causes for ocular allergies. Their symptoms are actually your eyes defending themselves against the same things that cause other common allergic reactions, like sneezing or a runny nose. Generally, people with ocular allergies are reacting to different types of pollen, fungus, dust mites, animal dander, or other ordinary airborne allergens. Many patients can also develop eye allergies to things, like fragrances, cigarettes, and face creams. A lot of allergens can be present on the fingers; therefore, rubbing the eyes typically intensifies the inflammation.
Eye Allergies Diagnosis
Though eye allergies are mostly harmless, their symptoms often look a lot like other types of conditions. Dr. Croley will have to do a complete eye examination to make sure it's not any other eye condition before diagnosing you with allergies. He will also talk with you about any past conditions, in addition to your existing symptoms, in order to establish whether a more concerning condition might be present. It's possible that Dr. Croley may suggest that you visit an allergy specialist so that they can identify the exact allergens that are causing your symptoms.
Eye Allergies Treatment Options
Just like with any allergic reaction, the most effective way to prevent eye allergies is to simply avoid the allergen, but needless to say, that is not always simple or even possible. People who wear prescription contacts and experience eye allergies could ease their discomfort by trying disposable daily contacts, as airborne allergens often build up on longer-wear lenses. In addition, many nonprescription eye drops can be found that are intended to relieve eye allergy symptoms, but often, they offer only partial relief. For patients who have not gotten relief with over-the-counter eye drops might need prescription eye drops, or might have a condition that is more serious than seasonal allergies.
Receive Eye Allergy Relief
Typically, ocular allergies are painful and irritating, but thankfully, you have some great options to get relief. Ophthalmologist Dr. James Croley works with Cape Coral, FL patients on a case-by-case basis so that they get the most effective solution for their unique needs. Reach out to the Cataract & Refractive Institute of Florida if you are experiencing eye allergies. To best serve our Southwest Florida patients, we offer locations in Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs as well.