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Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Eye Allergies – Don’t Rub Your Eyes!

by dwasylow 21 January 2014 03:01 AM

Nobody likes allergies. Depending on your sensitivity, they can cause discomfort and watering, limit vision and generally disrupt your day. If you wear contact lenses, allergies can be especially troublesome. Eye allergies are some of the most frustrating allergies to have.

Human eye closeup with reflections
Photo Credit: Dabe Murphy via Compfight cc 

Eye allergies are usually accompanied by other allergies such as eczema and hay fever. Environmental conditions can also cause allergic reactions or irritation. If you find yourself with red, puffy eyes, it’s likely you’re experiencing an allergic reaction of the eye. Here are other symptoms:

  • Itchy Eyes
  • Blurred Vision
  • Burning sensation
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Tearing
  • Light sensitivity

When experiencing any of these symptoms, the first thing to remember is DON’T RUB YOUR EYES. You might have the urge to do so for temporary relief, but you’re just making the situation worse. Allergic reactions in the eyes occur when mast cells in the eye release histamines in response to allergy triggers. These histamines cause the itchy redness and puffiness most associated with eye allergies. When you rub your eyes, you further irritate the mast cells, causing them to release more histamines; resulting in more discomfort.

The best way to relieve eye allergy discomfort is to apply a cold compress or wet washcloth over your eyes, which will help stop the discomfort temporarily. In addition, if you have an antihistamine, like Benadryl, you should take one. Your eye doctor can recommend an over the counter allergy drop, or for more severe symptoms, he may need to prescribe a mild anti-inflammatory drop.

Finally, avoid allergen-rich environments, keep your hands clean and avoid touching your eyes. Even the tiniest allergen can cause discomfort if you’re not careful.



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