What Causes Eye Allergies?
Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander.
Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eye drops also may cause eye allergies.
Some people actually are allergic to the preservatives in eye drops such as those used to lubricate dry eyes. In this case, you may need to use a preservative-free brand.
General Eye Allergy Treatment
Avoidance. The most common "treatment" is to avoid what's causing your eye allergy. Itchy eyes? Keep your home free of pet dander and dust and keep pets off the furniture. Stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. Use high quality furnace filters that trap common allergens and replace the filters frequently.
Make sure you wear wraparound sunglasses to help shield your eyes from allergens, and drive with your windows closed during allergy season.
Medications. If you're not sure what's causing your eye allergies, or you're not having any luck avoiding them, your next step probably will be medication to alleviate the symptoms.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications each have their advantages; for example, over-the-counter products often are less expensive, while prescription ones usually are stronger and may be more effective.
Eye drops are available as simple eye washes, or they may have one or more active ingredients such as antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers that inhibit inflammation. Antihistamines relieve many symptoms caused by airborne allergens, such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Decongestants help shrink swollen nasal passages for easier breathing.
In order to find the best solution for you, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Tran so he can evaluate your specific needs.