Allergy symptoms in the eyes – they’re not something to scratch at. Called allergic conjunctivitis, some allergy sufferers experience a variety of symptoms in their eyes during allergy season. For those with indoor allergies, allergic conjunctivitis can stick around all year. Learn more about eye allergy symptoms and ways to prevent the itch and irritation in this blog.
What people feel in their eyes can range person to person, but typical eye allergy symptoms are:
- Swollen eye lids
Others have the sensation that there is something in their eye, and unlike pink eye, most with allergic conjunctivitis experience symptoms in both eyes.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce symptoms, there are a variety of options.
Avoiding your offending allergen can seem like the easiest option for controlling your symptoms, but it’s not a simple task. Here are a few ways you can limit your exposure to your offending allergens.
If you’re allergic to outdoor allergens like tree, grass and weed pollen:
- Wear sunglasses when outside
- Monitor your local pollen counts and avoid outdoors during peak hours
- Keep your car and home windows closed; don’t use window fans in your home
If you’re allergic to indoor allergens like pet dander, mold, and dust mites:
- Keep humidity between 30% and 50% to avoid mold growth and increasing dust mite population
- Vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Keep pets out of your bedroom, and bathe them frequently
Complete avoidance is not realistic, so some people choose to implement some of the avoidance measures as well as medication.
Antihistamines are the go-to medication for allergy. When an allergen is inhaled or touched, histamine is released in the body, causing an allergic reaction. Antihistamines work to reduce the release of histamine and prohibit allergy symptoms. Not only can antihistamines make you less sneezy, they can help eye allergy symptoms too.
Allergy eye drops get to the site of the reaction – placing a liquid drop on the eye to reduce inflammation and associated symptoms. There are a few varieties, some over-the-counter and some require a prescription, that aim to temporarily calm the allergy symptoms of the eye. Ask your provider which type would work best for you.
Other allergy sufferers choose to treat the cause of their symptoms with immunotherapy – allergy shots or allergy drops. These methods train the body to not react to environmental allergies by slowly delivering increasing doses of offending allergens until the body learns to tolerate them. By building tolerance, your eye symptoms – as well as other symptoms – can subside over time.
Allergy eye drops vs. allergy drops
When doing a quick online search, you may find confusing information about allergy drops and allergy eye drops because of their similar names. Here’s the difference:
Allergy eye drops: Temporarily treat just eye allergy symptoms by placing a drop in your eye
Allergy drops: Treat the underlying cause of allergy by placing a liquid dose – containing specific amounts of the allergens you’re allergic to – under the tongue to retrain the immune system