Eye Allergy Relief
Red, itchy, watery, and swollen eyes that are bothered by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose among seasonal allergy sufferers are very common. Eye allergies can play a role in eye infections. The most common allergens that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust and pet dander.
Because eye allergies are so common, there are a number of brands of prescription and non-prescription eye drops available that are formulated to relieve itchiness, redness and watery eyes caused by allergies. If your allergy symptoms are relatively severe or over-the-counter eye drops are ineffective, you may need your Ophthalmologist to prescribe a stronger medication.
Antihistamines: Symptoms caused by histamine include a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines reduce allergic reactions by blocking the attachment of histamine to cells in the body that produce an allergic response.
Vasoconstrictors: Many over-the-counter eye drops advertise that they “get the red out” of your eyes. These eye drops contain vasoconstrictor ingredients, which as the name implies, squeeze your blood vessels. That’s exactly how they “get the red out”: by temporarily decreasing the size of the blood vessels on the surface of your eyes, they reduce redness. The bad part is that once the eye drop wears off, the blood vessels are no longer squeezed, and may become even bigger than they were before use of the eye drop. This phenomenon is called “rebound hyperemia”, and is the reason that we and many other ophthalmologists recommend that you avoid eye drops containing naphazoline, tetrahydrozoline, phenylephrine and oxymetazoline. They are reasonable for use on a very limited basis, but are not a good idea on a chronic or long term basis.
3 Tips for Eye Allergy Sufferers
Make an appointment with your Ophthalmologist before allergy season begins to learn how to reduce your sensitivity to allergens.
Don’t rub your eyes if they itch! Eye rubbing releases more histamine and makes your allergy symptoms worse.
On days when the pollen count is high, stay indoors as much as possible, with the air conditioner running to filter the air. Use high quality furnace filters that can trap common allergens and replace the filters frequently.
If you follow these easy steps you are highly likely to enjoy the Spring Season more than you thought!