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Eye Allergy

It is really irritating when you feel something in the eye! When the eyes become red and irritating you will feel tough to see through. It can cause because of allergies. However, symptoms can vary from a person to another with the association of stuffy nose, sniffling and sneezing. Most eye allergies are related to nasal allergies.

What’s eye allergy?

Also called allergic conjunctivitis, eye allergy is severe immune response which takes place when your eyes come into contact of any foreign invader or irritating substance. An allergen that is irritating the eye can be smoke, dust and pollen. For warding off the problem the immune system will defend the body naturally to combat against harmful substances like viruses and bacteria.

The immune system of the patients with allergies considers allergen as harmful. As a result they secrete the chemicals to cope up with allergen despite being harmless. Therefore, you are more likely to experience certain symptoms like watery, red and itchy eyes. For many people, eye allergies can also accomplish asthma and eczema. 

You can seek help from OTC medications for relieving symptoms of eye allergy. In case there is severe allergic reaction then you need additional treatment. 

Symptoms of eye allergy

Some common eye allergy symptoms are:

  • Both or either of the eyes is affected
  • Burning or itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Pink or red eyes
  • Scaling surrounding the eyes
  • Puffy or swollen eyelids mainly in morning

You can also experience sneezing, congestion and runny nose. Depending on the type of eye allergy symptoms can differ too.

Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis

SAC is the most usual kind of eye allergy. Anyone can experience it in fall, summer and spring relying on plant pollens in air. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Watery and clear discharge
  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Itching

SAC can result in chronic dark circles (allergic shiners) under the eyes. The patients will have puffy eyelids and bright light can trouble them. Often SAC is accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose and hay fever. Itching is so severe that patients will need to rub the eyes often worsening the symptoms leading to an infection.

PAC, on another flip takes place once a year! Although the symptoms are similar to that of SAC, yet milder! The reactions take place because of household allergens except pollen like pet dander, mould and dust mites.

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis

This one is highly serious over PAC or SAC. Although it may affect once a year yet symptoms worsen down each year. It is most common in young men and body and the patients with asthma and eczema. Some of the symptoms are:

If you keep it unnoticed then it can cause vision impairment.

Atopic keratoconjunctivitis

This allergy type mainly affects aged patients especially men with allergic dermatitis. Symptoms of this kind are identical to that of vernal keratoconjunctivitis and include:

In case of delayed diagnosis and treatment it scars the cornea along with the delicate viscous membrane.

Contact allergic conjunctivitis

Sometimes your contact lenses become the main culprit to cause irritation. It can also cause by tear proteins that adhere the lens to the pupil. The symptoms of this type are:

Giant papillary conjunctivitis

Accompanied by contact lens usage, this allergic reaction is severe of contact allergic conjunctivitis. In this condition, the papules or fluid sacs will form in upper lining of inner eyelid. The symptoms are:

Triggers of eye allergy

You can get eye allergies due to severe immune reaction for specific allergens. Most of the time, reaction gets triggered because of allergens present in the air like:

In general, immune system secretes chemicals to combat against harmful invaders like viruses and bacteria. Releasing of histamine takes place as soon as eyes subject to allergen. Hence, you experience various uncomfortable symptoms like watery and itchy eyes. Also, coughing, sneezing and runny nose will be there.

There is no specific time or season to get eye allergy. But this is more common in summer, fall and spring. Remember, food allergies can also result in eye allergy.

Difference within pink eye and eye allergy

Conjunctiva is the thin membrane that covers the eyeball. If it feels inflamed or irritated, you can get conjunctivitis. The most common term for this condition is pink eye. As a result, your eyes become pink or red, itchy and watery.

Despite both of these cause identical symptoms they are different from one another.

Eye allergy is the severe immune reaction. On another hand, pink eye is outcome of eye allergy and other conditions.

Those are:

If you have pink eye because of viral or bacterial infection then you can notice build up of thick discharge on eye at night. Moreover this is highly contagious while eye allergies are not at all.

How to diagnose eye allergy?

It is better to see an allergist for diagnosing your eye allergy as they have specialization in treating allergies. Also you can benefit from the appointment in case you have any other allergy-like symptoms like eczema and asthma.

During the appointment, the allergist will inquire about symptoms and medical history along how and when they began and how long they are there. Then they will conduct skin prick test that will collect skin sample and apply suspected allergen to it and notice the reaction.

If there is any swollen and red bump then allergic reaction is there. But using this way allergist will find the allergens you are most sensitive to and find out the most suitable treatment.

How to manage eye allergy?

If you want to manage the eye allergy you have to avoid the allergens that trigger the symptoms.

Outdoor exposure:

Indoor exposure:

Exposure to furry friends:

Many airborne allergens can trigger the eye allergies. Therefore, it is better to consult the symptoms with the allergist for determining the most appropriate treatment options for you.

Natural remedies of eye allergy

Natural remedies are best to help you till you can manage to see the allergist or an eye specialist. Some of them are:

Kids with eye allergy

Kids who are having eye allergy can seek the treatment from medications and prescription or OTC eye drops. You can use artificial tears as they are safe for the people of all ages. Some drops containing mast cell stabilizers and antihistamines are ideal to use for the kids above 3 years of age. It is better to contact with your doctor or an eye specialist to seek the most suitable treatment on time.

How to treat eye allergy?

There are various options to treat eye allergies. Some of them are:

Check the list of allergists and eye specialists from below to contact for your eye allergies.