If your eyes are always red, itchy, or irritated, you might have eye allergies. Fortunately, the team at West Broward Eyecare Associates in Tamarac, Florida, provides expert diagnosis and customized treatments for eye allergies to alleviate your symptoms. Call the practice or make an appointment online today for outstanding eye care.
Allergies Q & A
Allergies develop when your body’s immune system responds to a typically benign substance known as an allergen. Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms on nearly every part of your body, including your eyes.
Your eyes are most vulnerable to airborne allergens like dust, pollen, smoke, and chemical fumes. You’re more likely to have eye allergies if you also experience hay fever.
How can allergies affect my eyes?
When the allergen triggers your immune system, your body releases chemicals known as histamines to fight off the perceived threat. The histamines cause symptoms in your conjunctiva and eyelids, causing swelling and other symptoms, including:
- Burning sensation
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light
If you wear contact lenses, eye allergies can make your contact lenses feel sticky or gritty while they’re in your eyes and potentially make your vision blurry or slightly distorted.
How are eye allergies diagnosed?
At West Broward Eyecare Associates, the expert optometrists diagnose eye allergies with a comprehensive exam. Your doctor talks to you about your symptoms, overall health, and medical history. They examine your eyes and eyelids carefully, using a slit lamp for a magnified view of your eye.
Your doctor might also test for other infections that could cause similar symptoms. For example, they might take a tiny sample from your conjunctiva to check for a specific type of white blood cell to confirm the condition causing your symptoms.
How are eye allergies treated?
When it comes to treating allergies, avoidance is a critical strategy. Your doctor might recommend a skin test to identify the specific substance that triggers your allergies.
While you might not be able to avoid going outside, you can protect your eyes by wearing glasses or sunglasses when you’re outdoors. You can also take steps to keep your home free of dust, pollen, and other potential allergy triggers.
Your eye doctor might also recommend over-the-counter or prescription allergy eyedrops to soothe your symptoms and reduce inflammation. Depending on your needs, you might also benefit from oral allergy medication like antihistamines or decongestants.
If you’re concerned about eye allergies, call West Broward Eyecare Associates or make an appointment online today for assessment and personalized treatment.