Are your eyes red and puffy due to allergies? Millions of Americans deal with this condition. Using a cold compress can be a quick fix before going out, but we want to help you know your triggers, find relief, and know when it’s time to see a doctor. Eye allergies occur when the lining of your eye becomes inflamed. Symptoms include: redness, itchy eyes, and watery eyes, burning sensation, and swollen eyelids. Symptoms may be caused by indoor and outdoor allergens (pollen, mold spores, ped dander, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and perfume) that come in contact with the eyes.
Eye Allergy Management
- Take a hands-off approach. Rubbing makes things worse by causing mast cells to release more of those itch-causing chemicals.
- Take out contact lenses
- Avoid using makeup
- Apply cool compresses to your eyes
- Use artificial tears to wash allergens out of your eyes.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid being outside when pollen counts are high
- Stay indoors, keep windows closed
- Wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes
- Keep the pets out of the bedroom
- Frequently wash towels and bed linens with hot water
- If dust mites cause you problems, get special bedding and pillowcases that keep them out.
- Clean floors with a damp mop instead of a broom, it stirs up allergens.
- Use a vacuum with a certified asthma and allergy-friendly filter
- Get rid of any mold in the house. Clean bathrooms, kitchens, or basements where mold might have started growing.
- Purchase HEPA Filters for your air conditioner.
- Antihistamines and decongestants can also help, but be aware that they can also dry out your eyes. If you have high blood pressure consult your physician.
Allergists can prescribe medications that could be more effective
- Eyedrops (decongestant, antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer, corticosteroids, NSAIDs)
- Allergy Shots (immunotherapy)
- Nonsedating oral antihistamines.
Eye Allergies can also share symptoms with some eye diseases so accurate diagnosis is very important. If symptoms persist or over-the-counter remedies aren’t working it’s time to call an allergist. An allergist will review your medical history, and symptoms and conduct tests to make a diagnosis.
For children with eye allergies, any treatment should be discussed with your child’s physician.
Take the sting out of eye allergies and work with an allergist to set a plan in place to stop future eye allergies from happening.