Seasonal Eye Allergies
Seasonal eye allergies are a common condition for individuals whose eyes are sensitive to pollen and mold spores. People who have seasonal hay fever are very likely to experience eye issues at the same time. If you suspect you have allergies and need eye care due to red and itchy eyes, contact your optometrist at the Austin Vision Center for more information on diagnosis and treatment.
What Are Eye Allergies?
Also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis, eye allergies are a common problem in people of all ages. Eye allergies occur when the eyes react to something that causes irritation, such as pet dander and pollen. When this happens, the body produces a substance called histamine, which makes the eyes red, itchy, and swollen. In some cases, the eyes can tear and burn. Unlike other forms of conjunctivitis which require a visit to the eye doctor, like bacterial or viral pink eye, allergies are not contagious.
Common Causes of Eye Allergies
Some of the most common causes of eye allergies include pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, food, and perfumes. These allergens can be airborne, or you may come in contact with them by rubbing your eyes.
Diagnosing Eye Allergies
Your doctor will likely perform a series of diagnostic tests to rule out any other eye problems. He may also test for a specific white blood cell in your eye. A slit-lamp microscope may also be used to check for signs of eye allergies, like red and swollen tissues.
Treating Eye Allergies
The most common treatment for eye allergies is to avoid or limit contact with the substance causing the problem. If this isn’t possible, your optometrist may prescribe an allergy medication or eye drops to help control the reaction.