Did you know that over 50 million people suffer from allergies? If you notice your eyes burning, itching, or tearing, particularly when you are around certain things, such as dust, mold, or pollen, you may be one of them. A Los Angeles, CA eye doctor discusses eye allergies below.
As mentioned above, allergies can make your eyes feel like they are stinging or burning. Itching and redness are also warning signs, as is tearing. These things are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as sneezing and stuffiness. However, that isn’t always the case: sometimes there are no additional symptoms.
You are likely familiar with the common culprits: grass, pollen, dust, mold, trees, and weeds. People can also be allergic to things like pet dander or dust mites, or to vapors, such as cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, exhaust, and fumes from paint, turpentine, or cleaning agents.
There are some treatments available for allergies, which can help keep you more comfortable. Artificial tears can rinse away particles of allergens, and also keep your eyes moist. Eye drops can help, but it’s important to use the right ones. There are different types to choose from, including decongestant, antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer, corticosteroid, and NSAID. Decongestants can be quite effective, but there are some caveats here. You don’t want to use these for more than a week, as they can actually cause problems if used too long or incorrectly. Antihistamines can also help, but there are no guarantees: they sometimes actually cause dry eyes, and make symptoms worse. Your best bet is to consult your optometrist.
You can also manage your eye allergies at home. One thing that will help would be to keep your windows down when driving. You’ll also want to wear glasses or sunglasses, instead of contacts, during allergy season. Another thing that will help is to shower, or at least change and thoroughly wash your face, before bed. Otherwise, you’ll get the allergens all over your pillow. We also recommend dusting and vacuuming, and getting a good air purifier.
The symptoms of eye allergies can also be indicative of many other eye issues. If symptoms persist, or are accompanied by other warning signs, such as eye pain, blurred vision, or double vision, contact your optometrist ASAP.
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