Treating Eye Allergies

Eye allergies can be such a nuisance. How can you eliminate them for healthy eyes? The key is to avoid or limit contact with whatever may be causing the problem. An allergist can perform a skin or blood test to identify exactly what it is that you're allergic to.

There can be many factors triggering your eye allergies and various ways to avoid them.

  • Pollen: When pollen counts are high, try to eliminate the amount of time spent outdoors. If you are outside, trying wearing sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes. If you're inside, keep the windows closed and use air conditioning; a window fan will pull the pollen inside.
  • Mold: High humidity can cause mold to grow. The humidity level in your home should be kept around 30 to 50 percent.
  • Dust: Using special allergen-reducing bedding, washing your bedding frequently, and using a damp mop or rag to clean your floors are all ways to limit your exposure to dust mites.
  • Pets: If you own a pet but have allergies to it, consider hardwood or tile floors rather than carpeting to reduce pet dander. Always wash your hands after touching a pet, especially before your hands come into contact with your eyes.

If you are doing all of the above and are still experiencing allergy symptoms, you can also try using eye drops and allergy medicine.

  • Artificial Tears: These eyedrops will relieve dry, irritated eye by adding moisture and temporarily washing allergens from the eye.
  • Decongestants: Although these eyedrops will relieve eye itchiness, they should not be used for more the two to three days.
  • Oral Antihistamines: While they are helpful in relieving itchy eyes, they can also make your eyes more dry.
  • Antihistamine/Mast-Cell Stabilizers: Used once or twice a day, eyedrops with antihistamine and a mast-cell stabilizer can relieve itching, redness, tearing and burning.
  • Corticosteriods: Steroid eyedrops are used to treat chronic eye allergy symptoms - itching, redness and swelling.
  • Immunotherapy Shots: An allergy shot may be given if eyedrops and other over-the-counter medicine is not working. These shots will allow you to become immune to the allergens.

Make sure to schedule a consultation with your doctor; they can help determine what treatment is best for you.

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