It is that time of year again... Allergy season is upon us. While we love the green grass and blooming trees, our eyes could be telling us something different.
Pollen, along with other irritants, such as smoke, dust, and pet dander, can irritate the eyes and cause ocular allergies. Classic signs of allergic conjunctivitis are red, itchy, swollen, watery eyes. These symptoms occur due to the release of a substance called histamine that the eyes produce to help fight off the allergens.
If you have any of signs or symptoms of ocular allergies, visit your local eye doctor. During your visit, we can properly evaluate your conjunctiva, eyelids, and cornea with a slit lamp to rule out any other type of infection that may be present.
After a diagnosis of allergic conjunctivitis is confirmed, a variety of treatments are available to manage your symptoms. First of all, avoidance or limiting exposure to the known allergen is recommended. Cold compresses and preservative-free artificial tears can help soothe the eyes. Antihistamines, mast-cell stabilizers, or steroid eye drops are also commonly prescribed to treat eye allergies.
Please let us know if we can help your eyes feel more comfortable this time of year and always.
Pamela Lynch, O.D.