Ocular Allergies: Causes and Treatments

Rest assured that you are not the only one who suffers from ocular or eye allergies. Up to 20 percent of Americans suffer from this condition. It develops when an allergen irritates the eye's conjunctiva, or you inhale pollen, mold, dust, or smoke. Your body reacts to get rid of the allergen.

 

Ocular allergies worsen when you go outdoors on days with a high pollen count. Therefore, you need to be careful. Protect your eyes and the rest of your body as best as you can from getting in contact with allergens.


 

Causes of Ocular Allergies



Ocular allergies occur when your eyes or your body gets into contact with an allergen. Allergens include pollen, dust, or smoke. It causes your immune system to react as it tries to get rid of the allergen. It releases histamine, a compound that fights off foreign invaders. It causes your eyes to have watery discharge, become itchy, and you will also feel like sneezing.

 

Some people may also react to medication, contact lens solution, and eye drops. Allergens are all over. If you know you have allergies, keep away from substances you know will cause a reaction.

 

Symptoms of Ocular Allergies


 

Ocular allergies will cause your eye to turn red, have a watery discharge, and have pain. You may also have a burning sensation, swollen eyelids, and sensitivity to light. These symptoms are like those of dry eye syndrome. However, you will notice that ocular allergies will cause you to itch and sneeze.


 

Treatment


 

There are various treatments for ocular allergies. The two main categories are home care and the use of medications. However, the best way to deal with ocular allergies is prevention.

 

Home Care


 

Home care involves using readily available materials and products that can help relieve ocular allergies. You can use cold compresses and allergen-proof your house. Cold compresses shrink the irritated eye tissue, providing soothing relief.



You can make cold compresses by using clean washcloths and adding ice to water in a bowl. Submerge the washcloths in the ice water, remove them, and wring out the excess water. Lay your head back, close your eyes, and place the cold compresses on your eyes.



Allergen-proofing the house involves the use of an indoor air purifier. You can also close your windows when the pollen count is high and keep your home dust-free.


 

Use of Medication


 

Sometimes, home care may not be adequate. You need to see a doctor who may recommend an antihistamine. Antihistamines block or reduce the release of histamine by the immune system. You may also need to use eye drops to reduce inflammation and shrink congested blood vessels. Your doctor may also suggest immunotherapy. They will administer allergy shots for a while to help deal with allergies.

 

Prevention of Ocular Allergies


 

Avoiding allergens may be difficult. However, you can limit your exposure by protecting your eyes when you step outdoors. You can also wash your hands when you come into the house and avoid touching your eyes.



Take a shower before bed, and wash your pillowcases regularly. Also, remember to wash your hands after touching your pet. These simple steps will help keep your immune system from reacting and causing ocular allergies.



 

For more information on ocular allergies, contact Lakhani Vision Care at our office in Marietta, Georgia. You can call us at (770) 509-9932 to book an appointment today.

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