DO I JUST HAVE ALLERGIES OR IS THIS EYE IRRITATION SOMETHING MORE?

Dr. Jim Martin 07/15/2014

allergies.jpgEye allergies are more than a seasonal malady. Some patients can pinpoint this allergic reaction to a particular source or season; others suffer from allergen sensitivity all year long. No matter when you suffer, how long you suffer or the source, eye allergies can ruin your day. An eye irritating allergy attack can be caused by:

  • Ragweed

  • Pollen

  • Dust mites

  • Pet dander

  • Pesticides

  • Mold

  • Other environmental irritants

Whether you’re entering an annual allergy cycle, or you are never free of this malady, this article will teach you how to maintain symptomatic relief and vision wellness.

What’s Causing My Eye Irritation?

The first step to regaining your eye health is to understand where the root of the problem really lies. We’re not just talking about finding out what you’re allergic to -- you need to also understand why you have the reaction you do. To do that, we have to take a closer look at how your body works.

Our immune system protects us from disease and infection that would do us harm. As amazing as this fail-safe is, it is also flawed.

Allergy attacks happen because your immune system goes into overdrive. All you have to do is breathe in, touch, or swallow an irritating substance and a system-wide chain reaction is triggered.

This misinterpretation of physical threat causes the neutralizing antibody cells to seek out and attempt to flush the offending particles. This cleansing process is what causes your allergy attack. When the antibodies locate a particle, they alert special cells called mast cells to the presence and location of a foreign body. In an attempt to flush it out of your system, these cells release a chemical called histamine.

Histamine is what cases:

  • Inflammation

  • Runny nose

  • Swelling of the nasal passages and throat

  • Congestion

  • Itchy, watery, and irritated eyes

As you may have guessed, an over the counter antihistamine can be used to help control this reaction, but for some patients, drugstore remedies like the following simply are not strong enough:

  • Decongestants

  • Eye drops

  • Nasal sprays

These individuals need an eye health examination from an eye care specialist and a prescribed solution.

How Can I Make My Eyes Stop Burning And Itching?

Depending on the severity of you allergic responses, you may be genetically predisposed to eye allergies. According to the latest research, if one parent is allergic to a substance, there is a 25 percent chance that their children will be allergic to the same substance. If both parents are allergic, the chances of allergy development double to 50 percent.

Odds like that make prevention and management an essential part of your daily life.  An allergist or immunologist can perform a patch test to find out exactly what you are allergic to. After that, an eye care specialist can help you develop a treatment regimen for your ocular symptoms. Common prescriptions include:

  • Allergy drops such as antihistamines

  • Allergy pills in various dosages

  • Steroid eye drops

  • Lid scrub programs

  • Artificial tears

Optometrist in Amarillo, Texas, also recommend other daily prevention steps, such as:

  • Checking pollen and mold reports during peak times

  • Wearing a mask when necessary

  • Leaving shoes outside

  • Showering before bed to remove allergens from hair

At Broome Optical, we believe “Life is worth seeing.” If you are suffering from dry eyes, eye allergies or other ailments, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to get your eyes back to their optimum state so you can see, and enjoy, life.

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