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Allergy Management and Your Eyes

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Allergy Relief

Dealing with red, itchy, swollen eyes is simply no fun. In addition to practicing good eye hygiene and avoiding allergens, it is important to receive annual optometry exams to identify factors that may exacerbate your eye allergy symptoms.

Inform your optometrist about all relevant symptoms to ensure that he or she can make the best treatment recommendations possible.

With a few lifestyle changes and treatment options from your eye doctor, you will be on your way to eye allergy relief.

For those who suffer from allergies, exposure to pets, pollen, or dust mites can quickly lead to red, itchy, watery eyes. Although seasonal allergies are notorious for causing eye symptoms, year-round exposure to allergens can be just as problematic. If you develop itchy, red, irritated, puffy, or watery eyes, make an appointment to see your optometrist for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

What Causes Eye Allergies?

All allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to non-threatening substances. This could be pollen, pet dander, mold spores, feathers, dust mites, perfumes, smoke, or air pollutants. When the mucous membrane covering your eyes comes into contact with one of these allergens, your immune system releases histamine and triggers a response. This causes eyes to become watery, pink or red, itchy, and puffy. You may also experience nasal allergy symptoms.

The First Step: Controlling Allergen Exposure

If you know what triggers your eye allergies, the most important preventative step to take is to limit your exposure. This may mean limiting your time spent outdoors, avoiding homes with pets, switching bed linens to remove feathers or dust mites, or having your home checked for mold. For individuals with seasonal allergies, mid-morning and early evening typically bring the highest pollen counts, so it is smart to stay indoors during those times. Also try to avoid windy days, which can blow pollens and trigger eye allergy symptoms.

Other Tips to Manage Eye Allergy Relief

Many people who suffer from allergies reach for over-the-counter antihistamine medications to manage their symptoms. Although antihistamines often reduce nasal symptoms, the American Optometric Association warns that they can actually increase irritation associated with red, itchy eyes. Antihistamines decrease tear quality and quantity, preventing your body from providing natural eye relief. Instead, ask your eye doctor about prescription medications or eye drops that may be right for you.

Another important step for managing eye allergies is to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, which can exacerbate symptoms. Cleanse your hands frequently with soap and water, and wash your bed linens and pillow cases in hot water to destroy common allergens.

For contact lens wearers, allergies can be particularly challenging. Wearing contacts may become particularly uncomfortable when you have itchy, irritated eyes. Whenever possible, forego contacts and wear prescription glasses instead. If that is not an option, make sure you replace your contact lenses frequently, and talk to your optometrist about eye drops or single-use lenses.

Sources:
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (2012). Eye allergy treatment.
American Optometric Association (2011). Set your sights on spring allergy relief.

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Testimonials

I highly recommend this business for their specialty services, care, professionalism and promptness. If you have any learning problems, dyslexia or anything of the sort, try Dr. Jong and her team to check your eyes. My niece was falling a lot but had 20/20 vision; Dr. Jong and her team figured out her problem and she no longer falls. My daughter was having problems with math. Dr. Jong and her team figured out why and her math scores went up. I had problems reading Latin and it's due to a form of dyslexia. Specialty glasses help fix that problem as well. Dr. Jong has a lot to offer the community and I highly recommend her. This is my first online review ever!!

-Anonymous

Dr. Jong and her skilled, experienced staff always give friendly and personal attention to this patient. My eyes have been in her care since 1985 and its has been very good care. I believe the Center has all the latest examination and diagnostic equipment. My annual visit with Dr. Jong and her staff is a great confidence builder. 

-Stephen S.

The most caring people you will ever meet. It is an awesome feeling to have someone who understands what your child is struggling with and actually has a solution to your problem. I recommend anyone that has a child with a learning disorder to schedule an evaluation. You will be amazed!

-Casey D.

It's been years since my last exam. Dr. Jong was friendly, informative and thorough throughout the exam. The staff at Advanced Eye Center were polite and caring. There was no waiting time and I was out of the office with a new prescription within 30 minutes of arriving.

-Sara G.

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