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Allergic conjunctivitis, commonly known as eye allergies, is a condition that affects many people. Eye allergies occur when the membrane around the eye becomes inflamed, red, itchy, and watery. Allergic conjunctivitis is quite easy for a trained eye doctor to diagnose. A slit-lamp microscope will help your doctor look for signs of allergies.


Preventing Eye Allergies

Find out the substances that cause allergic reactions and do your best to limit your contact with them. A specialist can perform a blood or skin test to determine the allergens that you need to avoid.

Staying Indoors: If you are allergic to pollen, stay indoors as much as possible during the hours when pollen counts are at their highest. If you must go outside, wearing sunglasses will help to protect your eyes.

Closing Windows: Keep your windows closed to reduce exposure to pollen and other irritants in the atmosphere. Use air conditioning at home and when driving in your car. Avoid using window fans as they often draw allergens inside.

Humidity Levels: If mold acts as a trigger for your allergies, control humidity levels in your home. High humidity encourages the growth of mold. Make sure that you keep high humidity areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements as clean as possible. Using a dehumidifier can help.

Dust Levels: If your allergies are triggered by dust, keep your home as dust-free as possible. Keep dust mites away from your bedroom by washing your bedding regularly using hot water. Using allergen-reducing bed covers and pillows can also help. Use a wet rag or mop instead of a dry broom.

Handling Pets: If pets are responsible for your allergies, you should try to keep them outside as much as possible. Do not allow pets in your bedroom, and always wash your hands after handling them. Carpeting can trap pet dander, so vacuum frequently.


Treating Eye Allergies

There are different ways to treat allergies, and treatment will depend on the condition. You should avoid rubbing your eyes as this irritates them more. You can discuss other preventative measures and treatment options with your eye doctor.

Artificial Tears: There are artificial teardrops that can help to relieve allergies. They wash out allergens while also relieving dryness. They help to add moisture to the eyes and soothe irritated eyes. The drops are available without a prescription, and most can be used as often as necessary.

Oral Antihistamines: Some oral antihistamines can help to relieve itchy eyes. It is, however, important to know that they can make eyes dry out, causing worse allergy symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the best medication for your condition.

Decongestants: Decongestant eye drops can help to reduce redness due to allergies. Drops that containing antihistamines can help to relieve itchiness. The eye drops should not be used for more than three days. Long-term use can increase your symptoms.

Corticosteroids: Steroid eye drops can be used to treat severe and chronic eye allergy symptoms, including redness, itching, and swelling. Corticosteroids should always be used under medical supervision to avoid serious side effects.

Immunotherapy Shots: When avoiding allergens, taking medication, or using eye drops all fail to alleviate symptoms, immunotherapy shots can be an option. The shots contain small amounts of the allergen. The dose is increased gradually over time to raise the body’s immunity to the allergens.

It is important to visit an eye specialist if you suffer from allergies, and your doctor will help to determine the best treatment for you.

To find out more about eye allergies, visit Berris Optical at our office in Rocky River, Ohio. You can also call (440) 571-7100 to book an appointment today.

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