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What Are the Most Common Causes of Eye Allergies?

When you say that you have allergies, most people expect to see you sneezing all the time. However, the nose is not the only body part that can suffer during an allergy attack. You may also experience itchy, swollen, and red eyes.


Many irritants that cause a runny nose and sneezing can also cause eye allergies. So if you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, you should visit your eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.


What Are Eye Allergies?


These are very common and usually stem from the same irritants or allergens that cause seasonal allergies. In addition to having watery, itchy, and red eyes, people with eye allergies may also experience a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and swollen eyelids. Sometimes, this condition can play a role in pink eye. 


Eye Allergies vs. Eye Infections


The typical symptoms of eye allergies include burning, itching, redness, and watery discharge from your eyes. But if you experience other symptoms like eye pain and a mucus-like discharge, you should visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. You may be dealing with a more serious eye condition. 


The main difference between eye infections and allergies is the underlying cause. Allergies usually result from pet dander, pollen, and dust. On the other hand, eye infections typically result from fungi, bacteria, parasites, or viruses. That is why the symptoms of eye infections tend to be more severe and often include sensitivity to light, pain, and a thick discharge.


What Causes Eye Allergies?


Also known as allergic conjunctivitis, this condition has several triggers. Like other allergic reactions, they can result from a misfiring of the immune system, the body's natural defense mechanism. Do you have allergies? If so, your body is reacting to things that are not necessarily harmful by releasing histamine. 


Histamine is a chemical that causes inflammation and swelling. It may cause the blood vessels in your eyes to swell. Your eyes will also get teary, red, and itchy. Some of the common triggers of eye allergies include:


  • Pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses. These are the most common causes of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

  • Perfume, makeup, or other chemicals can trigger an eye allergy known as contact conjunctivitis.

  • Pet dander, dust, and other indoor allergens can cause perennial or chronic conjunctivitis.

  • Contact lenses can cause an allergic reaction called giant papillary conjunctivitis. This condition can cause bumps inside the eyelid, leading to red and sensitive eyes.


Treating Eye Allergies


Some medications you take to deal with nasal allergies can work with eye allergies. You may also experience quick relief from over-the-counter pills and eye drops. Lipids and antihistamine pills work by blocking histamine to provide relief from itchy, watery eyes. Some eye drops work only when taken before the symptoms hit but last longer than their counterparts. 


When to Visit Your Eye Doctor


There are many different treatment options out there. To make the right choice for you, consult your eye doctor. It is crucial to call your eye doctor immediately if you develop vision loss or severe eye pain.


For more on eye allergies or to schedule a visit, call Brandon Eyes in Wisconsin at our office in Middleton (608) 833-7256 or Madison (608) 833-0301. 

A30master none 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed Closed (608) 833-0301 608-833-0302 6122 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705