Itchy, red, watery eyes make you uncomfortable whenever they happen. Instead of dealing with them and hoping they go away, see an optometrist to discuss treatment and prevention options. Come see us at one of our many Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry locations in Las Vegas for help with your itchy, watery, or dry eyes.
Causes of Eye Allergies
Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, happen when your body's immune system overreacts to an allergen. The triggers for people vary but may include:
- Pet dander
- Allergic reactions to preservatives in artificial tears for dry eyes
When exposed to these substances, your eyes may start to itch or burn. As they progress, the whites of your eyes may look pink or red. Sometimes your eyes will water. You may also have sneezing or a dripping nose, too.
Treatment for Allergies of the Eyes
Preventing a reaction by reducing the allergens you expose yourself to can help. For example, if you have an allergy to pet dander, wash your hands after petting the dog. For pollen allergies, consider rinsing out your eyes with plain saline eye drops after you return home. Sometimes, though, prevention doesn't always work.
While avoiding the allergen is the best way to prevent allergies, you cannot always do this if you have a reaction to pollen or mold. Instead, you may need treatment for your eye allergies. Talk to your eye doctor about special prescription eye drops or oral medications that stop the allergic reaction. Some options to ask about are the following:
- Antihistamines to prevent the reaction in oral pills or eye drops
- Decongestant oral medication to reduce swelling of the eyes and nasal passages
- NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in eye drop or oral form to cut down on swelling
- Corticosteroid eye drops for short term relief of eye allergies
Special Concerns for Contact Lens Wearers With Eye Allergies
If you wear contact lenses, eye allergies could worsen because the contacts hold allergies against the eye longer. You may consider switching to eyeglasses if you suffer from seasonal allergies until pollen levels decrease. Another option may be disposable contacts. By changing to a fresh pair of contacts each day, you do not have to worry about allergen residue left on your lenses from the previous day.
Talk to the optometrist if you find your contacts are too uncomfortable to wear when your eye allergies occur. The eye doctor may be able to find an alternative type of contact lens for you or give you an eyeglasses prescription.
Schedule a Visit for an Optometrist Evaluation of Your Eye Allergies
Do not let eye allergies get you down. Schedule a visit with one of the Las Vegas locations of Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry for an evaluation of your eyes and recommendations on treatments for your allergies.