Allergic reactions that manifest in the eyes can be irritating. Though they may not pose significant concerns regarding vision loss or damage, allergies can cause itchy, red, and watery eyes that can distract you from enjoying daily life. The professional eye doctors at Beach Eye Medical Group have the experience and knowledge to target the root of your allergies, whether it be a genetic predisposition or an environmental trigger. We understand that eye allergies are common, affecting millions of Americans nationwide, and that they can occur seasonally or year-round. We use an individualized approach in order to find the source of your symptoms, thus creating a customized treatment plan to give you prolonged relief from your eye allergy.
Eye allergies1 are caused by irritants that come in contact with the eye, called allergens, which cause eyelids to swell and itch and eyes to burn, itch, redden, or become hyper-sensitive to light. In some cases, eye allergies are accompanied by nasal allergies that cause stuffy nose and sneezing. Allergy triggers and symptoms can be different depending on the individual. For example, two people from the same family, who are exposed to the same environmental factors, can experience triggers that cause eye allergies completely differently, so understanding what causes eye allergies is case-specific. That being said, some of the most common eye allergy triggers are things we encounter on a daily basis. These include trees, pollen, grass, dust mites, mold, and pet dander. Some perfumes and cosmetics can also trigger allergies, as can smoke and certain foods.
To understand the cause of your allergies, it may be helpful to intentionally expose yourself to certain common allergens2, logging the intensity of your symptoms in order to be aware of what is triggering your allergic reaction. In this way, you can consciously avoid things you know to trigger allergic reactions. In addition, being aware of potential allergy triggers enables our experienced Irvine and Huntington Beach doctors to work with you to find the best solution for your situation. Consult with one of our specialists about how to pin-point the possible causes of your allergies.
When eye allergies are interfering with day-to-day functioning, treatment by a medical professional may be necessary. The doctors at Beach Eye may suggest over-the-counter eye drops and decongestants, in combination with a non-drowsy antihistamine to be taken orally. In more severe cases, we may prescribe steroid eye drops to clear chronic symptoms and provide more long-term, effective relief. Finally, should your symptoms persist and not be controlled by our previous recommendations, we may advise you to consider immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Immunotherapy involves the administration of a gradually increasing amount of allergen to help your body develop its own immunity to the allergens, thereby reducing spontaneous reactions when you come in contact with the same triggers.
While investigating the best treatment plan for your allergies, our eye doctors may suggest that you wear sunglasses when outside and use air conditioning instead of opening the window when at home or in the car to avoid pollen and other such residue. Moreover, there are certain products on the market, including allergen-reducing bedding and pillow covers, that can prevent the accumulation of mold. Investing in understanding the cause of your allergies and adjusting your lifestyle through minimal changes can go a long way in preventing the irritation that accompanies eye allergies. Contact our expert eye doctors at our Irvine or Huntington Beach office for more information on how to find the best eye allergy solution for you.
1 Tips to Help You Tackle Eye Allergies. Available: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/ss/slideshow-eye-allergies
2 What Are Eye Allergies? Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/allergies