Eye Allergies – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer you are likely relieved to have made it through what many find to be the worst time of year for allergies, but do you realize that eye allergies can have many of the same symptoms as other serious eye diseases?

This is why it’s important to see an eye specialist and get a proper eye allergy diagnosis.

In this article, we will discuss the cause, symptoms and treatments of eye allergies, and how your optometrist can look for an ocular allergy during a routine eye exam.

What happens in the eye during an allergic reaction?

Eye allergies develop when your body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to irritants in the environment that usually do not bother other people. The antibodies in your eyes will “catch” or attach to the allergens. This causes histamine to be released and the tiny blood vessels in your eye to leak, which typically results in watering eyes, redness, and itchy eyes.

Symptoms of Eye Allergies

The symptoms of eye allergies can differ from person to person, but may include:

  • Itchiness
  • Burning
  • Watering
  • Dryness
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Mucus
  • Fever
  • Plus other general allergic symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling, and nasal discomfort

Causes of Eye Allergies

Each day you likely come across multiple types of eye allergens and eye irritants that can potentially leave your eyes red, itchy, and dry feeling. Some of these you can try to avoid (like cigarette smoke) while others are just part of life (like pollen or air pollution).

Here are some of the most common causes for eye allergies:

Outdoor Eye Allergens

  • Pollen
  • Grass
  • Weeds
  • Trees

Indoor Eye Allergens

  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mould

Eye Irritants

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Perfume
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Air pollution
  • Contact lenses
  • Makeup and lotions

Importance of a Proper Eye Allergy Diagnosis & Treatment

Many people do not realize that eye allergies can share some of the same symptoms with other eye diseases.

If you suffer from what you deem an “eye allergy,” it is important to make an accurate diagnosis. When symptoms persist despite over-the-counter eye allergy treatments you should see an allergist or your eye doctor.

Depending on the severity of your eye allergy and the symptoms you are experiencing, your optometrist may prescribe a number of different remedies. To find out more about eye allergy symptoms and what would be the proper treatment for ocular allergies, please visit our Markham optometrist.

During an allergy eye exam, a qualified optometrist will examine your eye under a microscope and look for swollen blood vessels on the surface of your eye. This will help detect the type of ocular allergy and determine the proper treatment necessary.

For more information about eye allergies or to ask a question, please call Unionville Optometry in Markham Ontario at 1-905-477-4488 or make an appointment with Dr. David Innamorato, Dr. Krista Innamorato, or Dr. Mark Innamorato.

In addition to an eye allergy exam, Unionville Optometry also offers:

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