Eye allergies

Eye allergies are considered as common problems and can be confused with conjunctivitis or pink eye. Eye allergies can be caused by dust, pet dander, mold and pollen which cannot be always avoided.

Eye allergies develop when the immune system of the body reacts to something in the environment that usually does not cause any problem with other people. Symptoms of an eye allergy can range from mild to irritating redness and inflammation to the eye which sometimes damages the vision.

Causes

When an allergen comes in contact with the eye, the mast cells release histamine and other substance that fight off the allergen which causes the symptoms such as reddish, watery and itchy eyes.

It can also be caused by airborne allergens both indoor and outdoor such as dust, mold, pet dander and smoke. Pollen from grass, trees and ragweed can also cause seasonal allergies. Perfumes, cosmetics or certain drugs can cause reactions in the eyes. Some people have an allergic reaction to preservatives chemical found in lubricating eye drops. Sometime, some people react to other allergens that do come in direct contact with the eyes such as certain types of food or bites or stings from insects. Eye allergies can also be inherited from parents.

Symptoms

Eye allergies

Eye allergies develop when the immune system of the body reacts to something in the environment that usually does not cause any problem with other people.

  • Itchiness of the eyes when in contact with the allergen
  • The eyes turn red in appearance
  • There is swelling around the eyes due to irritation caused by allergies. There is puffiness in the eyes and eyelids.
  • Watering of the eyes caused by dryness and a clear or white discharge coming out of the eye that becomes dry and cake at the corners of the eyes upon waking up in the morning.
  • Burning sensation can be felt in the eye
  • Blurred vision and pain in the eye

Treatment

  • Flush the eye using lukewarm tap water or a commercially prepared eyewash solution.
  • Moisten the eye using artificial tears to help dilute any accumulated allergens and also helps in preventing the allergens from sticking to the conjunctiva.
  • Apply 3-4 drops of rose water in each affected eye and close the eyes for a few minutes.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected eye. Immerse a washcloth in cool water, wring out excess water and place it on the affected eye for comfort. Another way is placing a cold spoon on the affected eye to provide temporary relief.
  • Wipe the eyes with a cotton ball or cloth that is immersed in a warm salt water solution.
  • If the eye allergy is persistent, rinse the eye using cold water repeatedly in order to help eliminate allergens that caused the allergy.

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