Eye allergies could be causing your red, itchy, or watery eyes. At his family-friendly practice in Dublin, California, William Diamond, OD, and his compassionate and easy-going team help you manage allergies and symptoms with customized care and treatments. If you’re ready to face the day with clear, comfortable eyes, call or make an appointment online.
Eye allergies occur when your eye comes into contact with an allergen. In response, your eyes produce a chemical called a histamine that fights off the allergen but also triggers symptoms like redness, itching, and watering. You might also find that your eyes are more sensitive to light when you experience an allergic reaction in your eyes.
An allergen is a normally harmless substance that causes a reaction when you are hypersensitive to it. Eye allergies are common if you have nasal allergies. Hay fever, one of the most common allergies, is known for nasal congestion and causing eye irritation.
Exposure to allergens triggers your allergies.Your body then responds by sending histamines to fight off the perceived threat. Allergies are often hereditary, so if your parents have allergies, it’s more likely that you will too.
Some common allergens include:
Dr. Diamond checks for signs of allergies like swollen blood vessels by using a slit-lamp microscope. He performs tests to ensure another infection isn’t causing your symptoms. In some situations, he takes a sample of your conjunctiva, the membrane that covers your eye, to test for certain white blood cells.
Avoidance is key to effective allergy management and treatment. For example, if pollen triggers your eye allergies, you may want to stay inside on days when the pollen count is high. If you have to go outside, wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses helps keep the pollen away from your eyes.
You might also benefit from artificial tear drops to keep your eyes clean and fresh. These drops flush out allergens and provide relief from allergy symptoms, like dryness and itchiness.
Dr. Diamond often suggests medications like oral antihistamines, eye drop antihistamines, corticosteroids, and decongestants to manage your symptoms.
If your allergies don’t respond to these treatments, you might benefit from immunotherapy shots. Immunotherapy introduces minuscule amounts of an allergen into your system, allowing your body to build up a tolerance or immunity to the allergen.
If you think you have eye allergies, call or schedule an appointment online today.