April showers bring May flowers, and those flowers bring seasonal allergies. If you have eye irritation during the spring or fall, you might be having an allergic reaction to something in the air.
Eye Allergy Causes
During peak seasons, the allergens in the air will make contact with the thin membrane on your eyeball called the conjunctiva. When this membrane becomes irritated, your eye releases histamine. Histamine causes a wide variety of irritating symptoms, some of which will require treatment with the help of your eye doctor.
It may be difficult to determine what, exactly, causes your eye allergies. If your symptoms are seasonal, some common allergens include trees, grasses, molds, and weeds. If your allergies are more regularly occurring, they may be caused by dust mites or pet dander.
Most commonly, patients suffering from seasonal allergies experience irritation to their eyes, including watery discharge, burning, puffiness, and itchiness. For some, the symptoms can be relatively mild. Others experience more severe symptoms.
Other eye-irritation conditions — like pink eye — can be caused by bacterial infections or viruses. Pink eye typically affects one eye first, possibly spreading to the other. Allergies, on the other hand, usually affect both eyes simultaneously.
The best treatment for your allergies is to limit your exposure to the allergen. If that isn’t possible for your lifestyle, many at-home therapies and medications can offer some relief. Some types of treatment include:
- Washing your eyes to remove allergens. Try rinsing with a saline solution to flush them out thoroughly. Don’t forget your lashes!
- Apply a cold compress — like a cool washcloth — to reduce swelling and puffiness.
- Call your eye doctor at Complete Eye Care for help. For more severe or stubborn symptoms, your doctor can prescribe soothing eye drops.
Choosing the right treatment depends on your eyes and your symptoms. You and your eye doctor can discuss the intensity of your allergies and find the best course of action. Call Complete Eye Care today to schedule your appointment and start getting some relief.