Diagnosing and Treating Eye Allergies

If you suffer from eye allergies, you aren’t alone. In the United States, an estimated 20% of the population already experience eye allergies, and this number is predicted to continue to rise over the coming decade.

If you suffer from allergies, your body sees a usually harmless substance as potentially dangerous and sets off defenses against it. These defenses are called histamines and it is histamines that cause the symptoms that are associated with having an allergic reaction. Exactly what symptoms someone with allergies will experience will depend on the type of allergies that they have. 

What causes eye allergies?

Eye allergies can be very frustrating to live with. Trying to identify what is causing your allergy is a good idea as it gives you the opportunity to try and avoid contact with the trigger. This will help to reduce your need to rely on allergy medications and other treatments in the future. 


There are a wide variety of different substances that can cause eye allergies. These include:


  • Pollen

  • Dust

  • Mold spores

  • Animal dander

  • Cleaning chemicals

  • Smoke 

  • Perfume

  • Exhaust fumes

  • Paint 

How do I know if I have eye allergies?


There is a range of symptoms that are associated with eye allergies. These include, but aren’t limited to:


  • Redness

  • Excessive watering/tearing

  • Itchy eyes

  • Sticky eyelashes, especially in the morning 

  • Eyelashes may be covered in mucus that sticks your eyelids closed

  • Blurred vision

  • Painful/stinging eyes

  • Eye fatigue


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for an assessment. They will be able to provide a diagnosis based on your symptoms and recommend the appropriate course of treatment.  

Treating and preventing eye allergies

Fortunately, aside from doing your best to avoid coming into contact with the allergens that trigger your symptoms, there are many treatments and actions that you can take to minimize the effect that they have on your life. You can:


Wear protective eyewear

Protective eyewear is a great way to stop allergens from coming into contact with the surface of your eyes. While enclosed goggles are the most effective solution, any sort of protective glasses or even sunglasses can be beneficial. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you which eyewear will be most effective. 


Use artificial tears

Artificial tears are an effective treatment for a number of different eye conditions, including eye allergies. Placing them in your eyes will help flush out any allergen particles that may be on the surface of your eyes. This should lessen their effects. There are lots of different types of artificial tears, and your eye doctor will help you to select the right variety for your specific needs. 


Take antihistamines

Antihistamines are medications that are designed specifically to reduce the level of histamine within your body, which spikes when you have an allergic reaction. They can normally be purchased in a number of different formats, including oral tablets, eye drops, and even injections. They should be taken exactly as directed and you should take note of any side effects that you should expect and make allowances for them. For example, many antihistamines cause drowsiness, meaning that you can’t drive while taking them.  


Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes

Every time we touch anything, we run the risk of picking up harmful microorganisms on the skin of our fingers. If we then don’t immediately wash our hands, we can potentially transfer these harmful microorganisms onto anything that we touch, including our eyes. Good hand hygiene isn’t only essential to prevent contracting viruses and bacteria, but also to protect our eye health. 


Prescription treatments

Many anti-allergy treatments can be bought over the counter or online. However, if they prove ineffective in relieving your allergy symptoms you may need to consider stronger treatments such as steroid medications and immunotherapy. These can only be prescribed by your eye doctor, who will talk you through what’s involved and what you can expect. However, they are usually very effective at eliminating allergy symptoms. 




If you would still like more advice and information about identifying and treating eye allergies, visit Seabert Eye Care in Burleson, Texas. Call (817) 857-8700 to schedule your appointment.