Millions of Americans suffer from eye allergies. While allergies may affect only your eyes, more often, nasal allergy symptoms are also present, such as sneezing, a stuffy nose and respiratory symptoms. More than half of all reported cases of eye allergies occur in children, and the majority of people with allergies will have symptoms before the age of 30, although it is important to recognize that allergies can develop at any age. A combination of genetic and environmental factors is believed to be the reason why allergies affect some people and not others.
If you are like many allergy sufferers, you probably treat your nasal and respiratory allergy symptoms but ignore your itchy, red, watery eyes. Dealing with eye discomfort during allergy season is not necessary, though. In fact, treating your eye symptoms is not expensive, can provide some much-needed relief and is easier than ever with the help of professional eye care in Cape Cod, MA.
The anatomy of eye allergies
Allergic eye disease is a condition in which an allergen irritates the conjunctiva, the delicate membrane covering the eye and the inside of the eyelid. The most common outdoor allergens are grass, tree and weed pollens. Since the amount of pollen in the air varies depending on the season, these are known as seasonal allergens. If your symptoms typically worsen during seasons with high pollen counts, then you probably have seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, the most common type of eye allergy.
Dust mites, molds, and pet hair and dander are common indoor allergens. These can cause eye allergies at any time of year. In fact, sometimes these produce problems outside of normal allergy seasons since more time is spent indoors in close proximity to aggravators. Allergy symptoms stemming from indoor triggers is a type of eye allergy is known as perennial allergic conjunctivitis. Symptoms typically occur when you have been in close contact with or had significant exposure to an indoor allergen. In less common cases, other causes of eye allergies include eye drops, creams and cosmetics. Professional eye care in Cape Cod, MA should be sought immediately if you’re having an adverse allergic reaction to an unfamiliar substance, such as an eye drop or unfamiliar type of makeup.
Dealing with eye allergies
Do you think you might have eye allergies? Here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Swelling or puffiness
- Tearing or watery eyes
- Pain, burning or soreness in one or both eyes
It has been estimated that about 40 percent of the population in the United States has ocular allergy symptoms. If you experience some of the symptoms related to eye allergies, consider stopping by your local eye care professional in Cape Cod, MA for an allergy screening and simple diagnosis. Eye allergies can be treated with one of several different medications, or a combination of medications, depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, your age and your overall health.
In summary, eye allergy treatment is easy once the problem is adequately diagnosed. Most medications are easily obtained and are inexpensive. To help relieve your symptoms of eye allergies this year, consider stopping by your local eye care professional to learn more about eye allergies.