You’re sitting outside and all of a sudden your eyes start itching like it’s nobody’s business; you are suffering from eye allergies. Allergies are not painful, but it can be irritating. One moment you go from breathing fine to sneezing, having a stuffy nose, and itching eyes. If you wear contacts, eye allergies are an even greater struggle. The eyes become so irritated that it may even affect your vision. Your reaction is to scratch them, and hopefully, your hands are not dirty because that will only make the situation worse. Once you scratch them, the problem only seems to escalate. If you are suffering from eye allergies, getting the treatment you need will help you see again.
The sinus cavities sit in the skull. Two of them sit under the cheekbone. These sinus cavities have a major effect on your eyes. When you suffer from allergies, your body creates an immune response that causes your symptoms. Most of the time, allergens enter your body by way of the nose. Once these things get sniffed in, they can travel through the nasal cavity and sit in the sinuses. The body sees these allergens as harmful and sends out antibodies to attack them. These antibodies travel to the allergens and attach to them. You would think by this time you are already having symptoms, but that is not the case. Once allergens and antibodies attach, they create a chemical called histamines. It is the histamines that cause all your problems. The histamines trigger sinus problems that lead to eye allergies.
You may think there is only one type of eye allergy, but there are several categories of eye allergies.
- Eye Allergy Categories
- Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis
- Contact Allergic Conjunctivitis
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
All eye allergies result in the same symptoms: itching, burning, redness, watery eyes. Some forms of eye allergies are a more severe than others. You may feel like you cannot look into the light or feel like something is in your eye. The eye may swell and instead of just water coming out, mucus may discharge.
Each allergy category is caused by something different. Seasonal allergies are the most common of all eye allergies. This is a result of allergens creating allergy symptoms. Keratoconjunctivitis is divided into two categories: Vernal and Atopic. Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis is much more serious than seasonal allergies and is sometimes diagnosed along with eczema and asthma. Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis can scar the cornea. It is common among older patients and creates thick mucus in the eyes. Contact conjunctivitis is caused by an irritant entering your eye from contact. Contact lenses are the most common cause of contact conjunctivitis. Tears are an irritant as well. When you cry a lot, you may have noticed that your eyes swell, burn, and may be sensitive to light. The production of tears is a good thing, but too much exposure will create allergies. Giant papillary conjunctivitis is a more severe form of contact conjunctivitis. This allergy makes fluid sacs inside the eyelid. These sacs make you feel like you have something in your eye and can prevent you from wearing contacts.
Types of Eye Allergies
Now that you know the different types of eye allergies and what causes them, you can figure out how to treat them. It is not mandatory that you go to the doctor for eye allergies, but sometimes when nothing else works, they may have to examine the eyes and prescribe you a better medication. Upon examination, the doctor will use a microscope to look into the eyes and see if there are any abnormalities. Sometimes the cornea is scratched or scarred. It is best to confirm a diagnosis to make sure you are getting treatment for the right thing.
Some easy methods of treatment are avoiding outside allergens and keeping your fingers out of your eyes. If you can stay away from environmental allergens, you will not develop symptoms. Keeping the windows closed and using an indoor air conditioner may also help. Keeping a clean house will also be helpful for you. If pets are a problem, you should stay away from them. That may be hard, especially if you like or have pets. You have to keep the pet hair under control and try to wash everything on a consistent basis. Eye drops and allergy medication both are great treatments for eye allergies. The drops can get rid of the itching, redness, and irritation. Allergy medication works by hindering the production of histamines that are causing the symptoms. Sometimes the doctor has to prescribe strong drops to treat more severe eye allergies.
If you are suffering from eye allergies, join the crowd. You are not the first and will not be the last. Eye allergies are usually just one form of an allergic reaction. The itching, burning, and watering become very annoying and can have a negative effect on your day. You probably wish you could just stay in the house to avoid allergens, but it is not that easy. If you are an allergy sufferer, get relief through drops and allergy medication. Do not let eye allergies ruin your whole day.
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