Dr. Jim Martin 09/25/2014

fall-allergies.jpgEye allergies are a common problem among both children and adults. Eyes can become red, watery, dry or irritated by the infiltration of allergens. Allergens, simply put, are harmless particles that are seen by the body as a threat. The body kicks into high gear to fight the perceived threat.

The resulting symptoms are the body’s way of fighting off the perceived intruder. For some people, this results in sneezing or coughing. For others, it causes eye irritations, and, for others, it causes skin irritation and rashes. Texas is home to many seasonal allergy sufferers.

Treating The Source
For many people, treating eye allergies at the source can be extremely helpful and relieve all symptoms. By finding the source, you can then remove the allergen from the situation, which, in turn, relieves the symptoms. This treatment may not be possible for all people, specifically those with seasonal allergies, as they tend to be caused by pollen and grass. Short of staying inside and keeping all windows closed, these allergens cannot be removed.

Treating the source of the allergy works best with perennial allergies. These are allergies to specific, indoor sources, such as dust mites, feathers, smoke, pet dander and perfumes. You can treat the symptoms of the allergy by removing these allergens from your home. You can use pillow protectors to prevent feathers and dust mites from causing eye allergies. Similarly, you can use an air purifier to remove dust from the home. Re-homing pets that are causing the allergy may also be helpful.

Treating The Symptoms
You may also treat the symptoms of an eye allergy to get relief. Symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter eye drops. Saline rinses and lubricants can be soothing to red, dry eyes. They may also be helpful in rinsing out allergens that are causing the problem. Another option is to use decongestant eye drops. These constrict the blood vessels in the eye and may provide similar relief. Oral allergy medication may help to relieve symptoms, and they can be taken daily for seasonal allergies.
Prescription medications are also available for more severe allergies, or sufferers who find that typical, over-the-counter options do not work on their allergies. If you are dealing with persistent allergies, it is best to speak to your eye doctor about the problem.
If you are dealing with red, dry or irritated eyes and you suspect the cause may be from allergies, see the Amarillo eye care professionals at Broome Optical. They will be happy to help you find a solution to your eye issues.  
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