Eye allergies are never fun. Whether you have red, itchy, or dry eyes, the symptoms can make it difficult to function. The good news is that eye doctors can evaluate and offer treatment options to help you manage your symptoms.
We all have different allergens and preventing exposure to them can help reduce symptoms. Common allergens include pollen, ragweed, and many others. You should try to avoid going outdoors during high pollen and other allergen counts. Usually, there is the most pollen in the middle of the morning and again in the early evening. Wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses outside can help to protect your eyes from allergens.
It is a good idea to keep your windows closed so that your home will be an allergen-free place as much as possible. You should also keep your air-conditioning system clean so that pollen and other allergens won’t stay inside.
Artificial tears are known to help relieve symptoms of dry eyes because they add moisture to your eyes. However, they are also useful in helping wash allergens out of your eyes. We strongly recommend using a preservative-free artificial tear, as often as you feel you need during the day during allergy season.
You can use over the counter decongestant eye drops to reduce any redness in your eyes that allergies cause. You can get them over-the-counter, and if they have an antihistamine in them, you can also relieve itchiness. It is not recommended to use them for more than several days as there are long term side effects.
You can take oral antihistamines to relieve your general allergy symptoms including itchy eyes. Unfortunately, they can also worsen your dry eye symptoms. Our doctors recommend an eye-allergy focused examination. If you want to try a drop before your exam, over the counter options with that have a mast-cell stabilizer with an antihistamine are suggested.
If your allergies cannot be controlled by avoiding the allergens or taking medicine or eye drops, then you may want to consider getting immunotherapy shots. You will get tiny amounts of the allergen in these shots. Gradually, the dose will increase over time, helping your body to become immune to these allergens.
In acute flare-ups, our eye doctors often prescribe steroid eye drops. This will help you with more severe swelling, itching, and redness. Steroids can have serious side effects and should never be used without supervision from your eye doctor.
Every patient and every set of eyes needs a different treatment strategy. If you suffer from chronic ocular/eye allergies, we recommend a thorough evaluation with your eye doctor. There is no reason for you to suffer from the symptoms of untreated ocular allergies.
If you are suffering from eye allergies, please contact Horizon Eye Care & Optical in Sugar Land, TX, at (281) 843-4020 to set up your appointment.