Your Eye Symptoms Could be Eye Allergies
Eye allergy refers to when something you are allergic to, such as pollen, pet dander, mold spores, ragweed or dust mites, irritates the membrane of your eyes. Termed allergic conjunctivitis, your eyes may be red, watery, itchy or swollen. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, or experience any eye irritation, our eye doctor will perform a complete eye exam in our Las Vegas eye clinic to determine if allergies are the culprit. Dr. David Yesnick, our friendly and experienced optometrist, is knowledgeable about diagnosing and treating eye allergies.
What Are Allergies?
In general, allergies are caused when the immune system identifies a particular substance as an allergen. Your immune system then overreacts and produces antibodies that journey to your cells and release chemicals. The end result is an allergic reaction. You’re probably familiar with hay fever and how people complain about it! This is a form of seasonal allergy, associated with pollen and ragweed that floats in our atmosphere. Allergies can strike indoors too, and activities such as cleaning your house may stir up the dust mites and provoke an allergic reaction. Cigarette smoke, perfume and cosmetics are other known causes.
Eye Allergy Overview
While eye allergies don’t threaten your vision, they can certainly be a nuisance. Problems generally affect both eyes and appear soon after exposure to the offensive allergen. The usual symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Swollen, puffy eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
However, these symptoms could also indicate an eye infection or a different ocular condition. That’s why a thorough eye exam and proper diagnosis is so important! Please contact our Nevada optometrist for an appointment.
Treatment for Eye Allergies in Las Vegas
Avoidance of the bothersome allergens is the most effective resolution for eye allergies!
If you are bothered by indoor allergies, it’s worthwhile to invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Discouraging your furry four-legged friends from resting on your bed or other upholstery is also a good idea.
Short of staying indoors with all the windows shut, avoiding outdoor allergens may be trickier. Some suggestions include:
- Wear sunglasses to block pollen from direct contact with your eyes
- Antihistamine medicines and other over-the-counter eye drops may help in the short-term by suppressing the allergic reaction. Yet extended use of some eye drops may worsen your symptoms. Consult with Dr. Yesnick to find out which brands are best!
- Put on a hat with a wide brim to prevent allergens from blowing into your eyes
- Wash your hands well after petting any furry creatures
Use saline drops after being outside; this helps wash allergens out from your eye tissue
Contact Lenses Can Complicate Eye Allergies
Many people have no problem or discomfort from wearing contacts until allergy season comes around. Airborne allergens may attach themselves to your lenses, which causes irritation. Some of our patients find that they need to decrease the amount of time they wear lenses during allergy season. An alternate method of dealing with eye allergies while wearing contact lenses is to wear daily disposables, which are discarded before there’s time for allergens to build up on the lenses.
In addition to proper cleaning and disinfection of your lenses, we may recommend special eye drops to rinse your contacts throughout the day. As not all eye drops can be used with all materials of contact lenses, please check with Dr. Yesnick before putting anything in your eyes.
A number of prescription medications may also be suitable for alleviating your eye allergies and the annoying symptoms. We’ll evaluate your condition in our Las Vegas eye clinic and our knowledgeable optometrist, Dr. Yesnick, will recommend the best treatment for your eye allergies!