Itchy, Red Eyes
Allergy season is quickly approaching! Do you suffer from seasonal ocular allergies? Are your eyes usually itching and red? Are they feeling uncomfortable? What is the cause of these symptoms and can anything be done? Itching and redness can be very frustrating and uncomfortable. You may be suffering from eye allergies. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to the things we are allergic to.
You may have tried over the counter remedies to see if they can improve your symptoms. If the over the counter treatments are not providing proper relief, it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination to determine the cause of your symptoms. Your condition may or may not be ocular allergies. You want to consider when your symptoms occur most. Are they worse in the morning or evening? Are they worse during a particular season of the year?
Diagnosis of Ocular Allergies
Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will take a complete history and perform an eye examination. It is important to distinguish if your eyeballs feel itchy or your eyelids are bothering you more.
Itchy eyes are often a symptoms of ocular allergies. You may also complain of watery eyes, stringy mucous discharge, eyelid swelling, and irritation. Ocular allergies are when the eyes are exposed to allergens. Different patients can react to different allergens. Your symptoms are often due to release of histamine and mast cells and symptoms will often vary during different seasons depending on what the allergen is that is causing your symptoms.
If your symptoms are more affecting your eyelids, you may be suffering from blepharitis instead of eye allergies. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margin and the eyelids can become itchy, red and irritated.
If you wear contact lenses sometimes your condition can be related to your contact lenses. You may have developed a sensitivity to your contact lenses or be wearing them too much.
It is important for your doctor to make the proper diagnosis so we can offer the treatments that will improve your symptoms.
Treatment of Eye Allergies
If you suffer from eye allergies, it is important to try to avoid the allergen if possible. Ocular allergies are often initially treated with eye drops that are antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers. These medications work more effectively if they are used regularly during your allergy season. If your symptoms are severe, we may add a short course of a mild steroid eye drop also. Sometimes chilled artificial tears can also help your symptoms.