Eye allergy symptoms can include wateriness, redness and itching and can lead to blurred vision and secondary symptoms. Living with eye allergies can make daily activities difficult and cause problems.
These allergies, like others, occur when the immune system thinks healthy cells pose a threat. They attack, leading to the symptoms. There are two types of allergies; Seasonal allergies arise when certain substances are abundant during specific times of the year. These are typically easy to diagnose. Perennial allergies happen throughout the year and develop in response to a specific product or substance.
It is recommended to contact the eye doctor if there’s uncertainty about the cause, and he or she can run a test to help pinpoint the allergy. For typical symptoms, it is useful to try some of these treatments to get some relief:
- Avoid the trigger. If pollen or certain plants cause the allergies, it is advised to be inside as much as possible during the peak allergy seasons for outdoor triggers like these. Many weather websites and phone apps indicate pollen levels during the spring and general air quality to help asthmatics. Usage of this information is good for making a judgment call about your indoor or outdoor activities.
- Keep your home clean. A buildup of dust, pollen and mold can cause or worsen allergies. Sweeping or vacuuming and wiping down floors regularly, as well as changing bed linens and showering before getting into bed each night can also help. If mold is a concern, adding a humidifier to areas that are moisture-prone, like the basement or some bathrooms will solve the problem. Using a HEPA air filter to keep airborne allergens from circulating in the home is also a good option.
- Avoid rubbing or touching the eyes. Washing hands ahead of time if the eyes must be touched, and keeping some eye-friendly wipes on hand for daytime needs should become an everyday habit. Touching the eyes with dirty hands can also lead to other infections.
- Leave eye makeup off. Eye makeup around watery, itchy eyes can further irritate the area and smudge throughout the day. Avoidance of the eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadows for a few days is advisable in order to give the eyes a rest.
- Keep allergy-friendly eye drops handy. Washing out the eye can help remove irritants, leaving with some temporary relief from symptoms. Over the long-term, they can help reduce the impact of allergies on daily activities.
- Take an oral antihistamine. Over-the-counter medications like Claritin and Zyrtec offer relief for up to 12 hours at a time. Benadryl also works well, but it can cause drowsiness.
- Wash the eye area twice a day. Keep tear-free baby soap on hand for washing the external eye area to prevent other irritants from making the symptoms worse. Wash gently with fingertips or a soft washcloth.
- Use a cold compress. Sometimes a cold compress soothes the itchiness and calms the redness.
Some allergies may need a stronger approach. If you are not feeling any relief, ask the doctor about alternative treatments for addressing eye and other allergy symptoms.
Bojan Kozomara (Banjaluka, 30. decembra 1978) je doktor medicine, specijalista oftamologije i direktor specijalne oftalmološke bolnice Svjetlost Banja Luka.
U svom rodnom gradu završio je Gimnaziju i Medicinski fakultet, a 2009. godine specijalizovao se za oblast oftamologije. 2016. godine postao je magistar medicinskih nauka iz oblasti oftamologije, a svoju profesiju usavršio je na Klinici za očne bolesti, VMA Beograd, Srbija, te na Klinici Oculistica Universita „Careggi“, u Firenci, Italija. Nakon završene specijalizacije u Italiji, odlučio se vratiti u rodnu Banjaluku i tu pokrenuti privatnu kliniku, koja će za vrlo kratko vrijeme postati popularna i prepoznatljiva u regionu, ali i svijetu.