Posted in Patient Education, Resources, Safety

 

Eye allergies can make life unbearable.  Depending on what you’re allergic to, it might be hard to enjoy the outdoors during certain times of year or play with your pets.  While allergies might not seem like a big deal, untreated allergy symptoms or conditions misdiagnosed as allergies can damage your eye health permanently.  

The key to optimum eye health is proper diagnosis, treatment and prevention of any condition.  Let’s learn how to take care of your eyes if you have allergies.

Eye Allergy Symptoms

Severe eye allergy symptoms can mimic more serious conditions- like an infection- so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis.  Most of the time, symptoms are mild and may come and go depending on the allergen and the individual.  

You may have eye allergies if you experience:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness in and around the eye
  • Burning
  • Clear, watery discharge

Don’t Downplay Your Symptoms

If mild symptoms persist, visit your eye doctor or allergist to get diagnosed properly.  Ignoring or mistreating irritated eyes can be a waste of time, money, and most importantly, your sight!

If you experience a sudden onset of symptoms or change in your vision, Restoration Eye Care can get you a same-day appointment Monday through Thursday- call 573-441-7070.  If we’re not open, and you experience sudden severe irritation or change in vision, please visit your nearest urgent care or emergency room.  Some eye conditions can have detrimental effects on your sight within hours- don’t risk it by waiting it out.

Steps to Prevent Irritation and Protect Your Eyes

When you have an eye allergy diagnosis from your eye doctor or allergist, you can start to take precautions to avoid allergens and mitigate their effect on your vision and lifestyle.

The first step is to identify your eye allergy triggers.  The following are common irritants:

  • Pollens from grass, trees and weeds
  • Pet dander, dust mites and mold
  • Cigarette smoke, perfume and fuel exhaust

Take these precautions to avoid eye allergy irritation:

  • Once you know your triggers, do your best to avoid them altogether
  • Wear protective eyewear, like goggles or wrap-around sunglasses to create a physical barrier to pollen and plant particles while doing yard work or mowing the lawn.
  • If you’ve been prescribed a course of treatment, follow it closely- some allergy medications require continued use to be effective.

Eye Allergy Treatment

There is a wide array of eye allergy remedies that can make your life more manageable and enjoyable- but don’t just take your best guess on which one will work for you.

If you’ve been diagnosed by a doctor, and you experience recurring, mild symptoms, a doctor may recommend restarting a past treatment method, like OTC or prescribed medications.  But if you experience new symptoms, please see a professional before pursuing any course of treatment.

You and your doctor may decide that one or more of the following options are best to alleviate your eye allergy symptoms:

  • Warm Compresses: Your eyelids have glands that can get clogged with particles, oils, and mucous.  A warm compress allows the glands to open up and flush out anything that might be irritating the eye and causing discomfort
  • Artificial Tears:  These can help to flush out irritants and relieve dry eye
  • OTC (over the counter) Allergy Medications:  Sometimes these medications can relieve a range of allergy symptoms, including those that affect the eye.
  • Prescription Allergy Medications:  Your allergist or primary care physician may recommend a specific prescription medication, based on your triggers and symptoms.

Restoration Recommendations

Take care of your eyes!  Making your eye-comfort and eyesight a priority is something you’ll never regret.

  • See an eye doctor regularly.  They can document and observe changes to your eyes that you might not notice until it’s too late.
  • Remember those warm compresses?  They’re just plain good for your eyes in general, so make that part of your relaxation routine and help those glands drain properly!
  • Never rub your eyes!  We know it’s tempting, but rubbing your eyes can have disastrous effects if there is something stuck between the eyelid and the eye.
  • If allergies of any kind are disrupting your life, find an allergist in your area who can help you out- they have more specific knowledge about how allergies can affect the body.

 

Do you have questions about your eye health?  Get in touch with Restoration Eye Care.

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