Fall brings beautiful foliage, but it also brings far less beautiful allergies that can cause significant eye irritation in many people. Fortunately, there are remedies. Read on as your trusted eye center, Viewpoint Vision Care, discusses this problem and our treatment options.
Eye allergies, also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis, happen when your immune system is highly sensitive to a certain substance. Pollen, grass, and other outdoor airborne matter are some of the usual culprits, particularly during fall and spring. Indoor irritants like lint, dust, and pet dander may also irritate your eyes. Strong-smelling perfumes, cigarette smoke, and similar overwhelming scents may cause this discomfort as well.
While these substances are normally harmless, they may attach to your eyes’ antibodies, triggering a hypersensitivity reaction from your immune system. This is why they are also referred to as allergens or irritants. Your eyes’ specialized cells would then initiate an inflammatory reflex, releasing histamine. Your eyes may turn red, itchy, and watery when this happens. You may also experience some visual discomfort and a burning sensation. We recommend visiting your eye doctor as soon as possible, so we can perform a comprehensive eye exam to confirm this condition.
Our Suggested Relief and Management
Avoiding your specific allergens as much as possible is the first step to prevent eye allergies. If this may seem impossible, make sure to take extra steps to protect your eyes. Before heading outside, for example, wear a face mask and wrap-around eyeglasses to prevent outdoor irritants from coming into contact with your eyes.
We also suggest washing your hands regularly to prevent hand-eye transmission of allergens. We may prescribe antihistamines or anti-inflammatory medications as part of your comprehensive eye care as well. It may be a good idea to use eyeglasses instead of contact lenses in the meantime, reducing your risk of developing eye allergies or irritations.
For more information about allergic conjunctivitis, call us at (586) 221-4360. We serve Shelby Township and the surrounding MI areas.