Dr. Jim Martin 04/20/2016

allergies.pngSeasonal allergies can be painful and annoying. Eye allergies and other allergic reactions are caused by your body's overreaction to allergens. Your allergy is a defense mechanism for repelling potential toxins. Your body perceives allergens like pollen and pet dander as dangers when they are not. The result of this defense mechanism is that your eyes become puffy and red as your immune system tries to eliminate the foreign substances.

When dealing with eye allergies, it is important to remember that they are similar to other types of allergies and can be treated in a variety of ways. Here are some of your options for relieving your eye allergies:

Lid Hygiene
Keep your eyelids free of allergens by using a mild soap to clean twice daily.

Eye Wash
Rinsing your eyes twice daily with an over the counter eye solution can help release allergens that may have gotten into your eyes.

Cold Compresses
The application of a cold compress can be used to treat the irritation from eye allergies along with the swelling around the eyes and associated itching. A cold compress can be as simple as a washcloth dipped in cold water. Another option is to wrap ice cubes in a washcloth or towel and place them over your eyes.

Fish Oil
Research has shown that fish oil supplements can be beneficial for people who suffer from allergies. Fish oil has the effect of lowering levels of leukotrienes, which are chemicals that can exacerbate allergic reactions.

Manage Your Living Area
Keeping your floors, air filters, and bedsheets clean can help reduce allergies throughout the year.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
You may be tempted to rub your eyes when they itch, but doing this can actually make your symptoms worse. Eye-rubbing can result in more of the chemicals that caused the itching to be released.

Discontinue Contact Lens Wear
Temporary discontinue wearing your contacts to help reduce irritation from allergies and promote faster healing.

It is important to note that conditions like “red eye” can sometimes be mistaken for eye allergies. For more information on allergies and other eye conditions, contact us at Broome Optical in Amarillo. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions.

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