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Can Allergies Affect Your Vision

Home Remedies For Eye Problems

Allergies and Your Eyes

The most obvious and effective advice is to avoid pollen as this will prevent your eyes from being aggravated by the irritant. However, this advice can be difficult or impossible to follow and alternatives are often sought.

Wearing glasses or sunglasses when outdoors will help to protect your eyes from pollen. Additionally, cutting back on contact lens wear will prevent pollen from being trapped in the eyes. Although difficult, try not to rub your eyes, as this will trigger further release of histamine, worsening your symptoms.

Most home remedies for eye problems revolve around cooling your eyes, for example with a cold compress or with slices of cucumber. Cold milk dabbed on the eyes is also an effective remedy.

Salty water may also be used to wash the eyes. Salt has anti-bacterial properties and will cleanse the eyes to prevent any infection from developing.

Why Youre Eyes Hate Spring

If your eyes overreact when pollen starts falling, you probably suffer from a condition called allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergy. It happens when something youre allergic to affects the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the membrane that covers your eye and eyelid.

The reason your eyes turn red, itchy, watery and painful is that your immune system has identified something in the air as a threat. This threat is considered an allergen. Since your immune system believes its harmful to you, it stimulates the production of antibodies called Immunoglobulin . These antibodies are what end up causing an allergic reaction your eyes become inflamed and bothersome to you.

Seasonal allergens are the most common cause of conjunctivitis. Pollen and mold spores can quickly trigger the immune system to set off the production of Immunoglobulin. This is especially true when the pollen count is high on certain days.

Differential Diagnosis What Else Could It Be

There are a number of conditions that can cause red eyes, and some of these are emergencies. Conditions such as viral or bacterial pink eye are usually easily treated, whereas conditions such as glaucoma can result in vision loss without early diagnosis. Warning signs that suggest that something other than eye allergies include severe eye pain, significant light sensitivity decreased vision, colored halos, and a history of trauma to the eyes.

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How Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Eyes

By: Hill Country Vision|Published on: Mar 26, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

The spring season is notorious for causing some people a lot of misery. Itchy, watery, and painful eyes can make the prettiest time of year the most dreadful. However, there is good news for those of you who suffer from seasonal allergies- relief is possible.

WHY YOURE EYES HATE SPRING

If your eyes overreact when pollen starts falling, you probably suffer from a condition called allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergy. It happens when something youre allergic to affects the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the membrane that covers your eye and eyelid.

The reason your eyes turn red, itchy, watery and painful is that your immune system has identified something in the air as a threat. This threat is considered an allergen. Since your immune system believes its harmful to you, it stimulates the production of antibodies called Immunoglobulin . These antibodies are what end up causing an allergic reaction your eyes become inflamed and bothersome to you.

Seasonal allergens are the most common cause of conjunctivitis. Pollen and mold spores can quickly trigger the immune system to set off the production of Immunoglobulin. This is especially true when the pollen count is high on certain days.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT OCULAR ALLERGIES

Ocular allergies pose no threat to your eyesight and they are not contagious. Its not like pink eye, even though the redness can appear like it.

How Eye Allergies Are Diagnosed

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When your eyes start to itch, swell, water consistently or turn red, you can visit an ophthalmologist for an official diagnosis and treatment plan. You may also want to visit an allergist to learn if you have food and environmental allergies.

Your eye doctor will run specific tests to rule out some potential causes of your misery. Theyll also need to know if you have any predisposing factors, including pre-existing allergies or parents with or a family history of allergies.

Only after providing an accurate diagnosis for allergic conjunctivitis can your doctor prescribe proper treatment to ease your symptoms.

Common eye tests for eye allergies include a slit lamp and a white blood cell test.

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All About Eye Allergy: The Itch The Blur And Condition Confusion

Five of every six people who suffer from allergic disease report eye-related symptoms, including watery or itchy eyes, with half of those calling the disturbance moderate to severe. In the midst of allergy season, an estimated 20 percent of contact lens wearers discontinue their use.

A Few Basics

The most common medications for treating eye allergy are antihistamines, both drops and oral. Over-the-counter and prescription dual-action, antihistamine and mast cell stabilizing agent drops may provide first-line relief faster than oral antihistamines. More recently, allergists have begun recommending topical antihistamine with mast-cell stabilizers.

If symptoms persist, especially during a period of high pollen, you may benefit from using these medications for days or weeks, following an allergist visit to determine the best treatment option.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

When aeroallergens contact the eye surface, this triggers IgE antibodies, leading to inflammation. Eyes turn red and itchy, with tearing or watery discharge, and/or swelling of the lid. The most telltale symptom of allergic conjunctivitis is itching of the eye and area around it.

Many contact lens wearers suffer from allergic conjunctivitis. Ophthalmologists often suggest switching to once-daily disposable lenses and/or preservative-free solutions, or perhaps taking a break from lenses. A once-daily ocular antihistamine drop can relieve itchy, watery and red eyes for up to 24 hours.

Triggers Of Eye Allergies

  • Cause. An allergic reaction of the eyes to allergic substance. The medical name for this is allergic conjunctivitis. The allergic substance is called an allergen. Most allergens float in the air. That’s how they get in the eyes. Here are the common ones:
  • Pollens. Trees, grass, weeds and molds are the most common pollens. Tree pollens come in the spring. Grass pollens come in the summer. Weed pollens come in the fall. Pollens cause seasonal allergies. You can’t avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks. Pollens cause seasonal eye allergies.
  • Pets. Allergens can also be from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals. Pet allergens are in the air. They can also get in the eyes from the hands. Most people don’t keep a pet that they are allergic to. They only have sporadic allergy symptoms when they are exposed to a pet. These symptoms usually last a few hours. If you own the pet, your child will have symptoms all the time.
  • House Dust. House dust contains many allergens. It always contains dust mites. If your humidity is high, it will contain mold. If someone with a cat visits you, they will bring cat dander with them. House dust causes year round, daily symptoms. The medical name for this is perennial eye allergies.

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Whats Up With Eye Allergies Anyway

When your eyes get exposed to an external allergen, they react by throwing up a defense to get rid of the intruder. Common culprits include pollens, molds or pet dander. Certain cells in your eyes known as mast cells release histamine into the bloodstream, causing the blood vessels to expand and building up protective mucus in the airways.

So while your immune system is doing its best to protect you, youre feeling the effects of that counterattack as the common symptoms of allergy or hay fever, such as itching and redness.

How Is Allergic Conjunctivitis Diagnosed

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Your doctor will examine your eyes and review your allergy history. Redness in the white of the eye and small bumps inside your eyelids are visible signs of conjunctivitis. Your doctor may also order one of the following tests:

  • An allergy skin test exposes your skin to specific allergens and allows your doctor to examine your bodys reaction, which may include swelling and redness.
  • A blood test may be recommended to see if your body is producing proteins, or antibodies, to protect itself against specific allergens like mold or dust.
  • A scraping of your conjunctival tissue may be taken to examine your white blood cells. Eosinophils are white blood cells that become activated when you have allergies.

There are many treatment methods available for allergic conjunctivitis:

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Lasik And Eye Allergies: What You Need To Know

Suffering from allergies can cause uncomfortable ocular conditions like dryness or even conjunctivitis . Unfortunately, if you have to wear contact lenses to see clearly, these optical aids can make your allergy symptoms worse. Pollen, dander, and particulate matter can attach to contact lenses and further irritate your eyes. For this reason, many patients who suffer from both refractive errors and chronic allergies pursue LASIK, or laser in-situ keratomileusis, an advanced vision correction procedure. LASIK can enhance both your vision and your overall quality of life by reducing your dependence on contact lenses and alleviating the irritating symptoms associated with them. In the following blog post, we explain the relationship between LASIK and eye allergies, and explain how our Austin ophthalmologists can sharpen your vision with this sophisticated surgery.

Eye Infections Related To Toxic Black Mold:

Eye disorders caused by mold exposure include conjunctivitis, which is also known as pink eye. This eye infection causes a reddish or pinkish color to appear in the eye. It can also cause discharge from the eyes, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light.

Another common eye disorder caused by molds is known as keratitis. This disorder infects the cornea or the clear tissue that covers the iris and pupil. If the eye is treated without delay, it can save the eye from permanent vision loss. In case of vision loss, the only way to restore vision would be by undergoing a corneal transplant.

Endophthalmitis is yet another eye disorder that causes inflammation in the fluid-filled spaces of the eye and can lead to loss of vision. Perhaps the most severe of eye disorders, Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis causes swelling around the eyes and nose. A severe headache, vision problems, excruciating pain and sinus pressure, are part of its symptoms. The severity of this eye disorder is due to its ability to affect and eventually damage the brain.

The intraocular inflammation that affects the vitreous and anterior chamber of the eye is known as Endophthalmitis. In most cases, endophthalmitis results from contact with a bacterial organism such as a mold spore. Endophthalmitis, which is also referred to as fungal mold, can be divided into two categories which are the less common endogenous infections and the more common exogenous infections .

  • immunosuppression

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Rubbing Makes Eye Allergies Worse

Red, itchy eyes can be so uncomfortable, it’s tempting to rub or scratch. As much as you may want to, try to keep your hands away. Rubbing will only make symptoms worse by triggering the release of more inflammatory chemicals. Refrain from wearing eye makeup that might irritate eyelids. Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Apply cold compresses over the area to help relieve symptoms. Wash your hands often to minimize introducing dirt or allergic substances into sensitive eyes.

Who Is Affected By Allergies

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Anyone can develop allergies at any age. Some people begin to show symptoms as children, while others may not develop an allergy until well into adulthood. Your genetic makeup goes a long way in determining if you will develop allergies in your lifetime. It is common for allergies to run in families. Chances are if you have a parent who has allergies, you are at high risk of developing an allergy at some point in your life.

Your environment plays a major role in determining whether you will develop allergy symptoms, depending upon the substances you encounter in your daily life. If you have the genetic markers for a particular allergen and are then exposed to that allergen at a high level of frequency, your likelihood for developing an allergy to that substance is fairly strong.

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What Are Eye Allergy Symptoms And Signs

Typical symptoms associated with eye allergies include inflammation of the conjunctiva that is caused by a reaction to allergens. The inflammation causes enlargement of the blood vessels in the conjunctiva , resulting in a red or bloodshot appearance of the eyes. These allergy symptoms can range from very mild redness to severe swelling associated with discharge.

What Are Allergies And How Do They Affect The Sinuses

There are a variety of substances floating in the air we breathe every day. From pollutants to pollen to mold to animal dander, these microscopic particles are harmless to most of the population. However, many people react badly to these substances. Allergies are the immune response of your body fighting back against these substances. One in five adults develops allergies over a lifetime.

An allergic response can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, causes the sinuses to become inflamed and affects the eyes and nose.

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Ways Allergies Can Affect Your Eyes

You are here: Home5 Ways Allergies Can Affect Your Eyes

Allergy season is coming right back up, with trees and flowers in full bloom because of the warm weather thats been gracing the U.S. these last few weeks. Even if its not totally warm yet, the pollen is still going to come out and your allergies will flare up. This can mean issues with your lungs and nose, but what about your eyes? They are affected by the change in the seasons just as much as the rest of your body.

Here are five of the side effects allergy season can have on your eyes!

1. Itchiness

When pollen is blowing all around, its bound to cause some irritation to your eyes. While you have the reflex to cough or scratch when you feel irritation elsewhere on your body, theres nothing much you can do when it comes to itchy eyes. You can apply eye drops and see if those reduce the itchiness, but it may require you to take some allergy medication to reduce symptoms.

2. Redness

With irritation and itchiness comes redness, a side effect of allergy season that is even less pleasant than simply needing to clear your eye of irritants. With redness in the eyes, it means they have already been irritated in some way, and therefore, the blood vessels have become more sensitive. There are special eye drops made to reduce the visibility of redness, or there are traditional allergy medications that can help to reduce symptoms at the root cause.

3. Swelling

4. Watering

5. Poor Vision

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Treatment Options For Eye Allergies

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The “best” treatment overall for eye allergies is to avoid the allergic triggers – the allergens that lead to your symptoms. This, of course, is not always possible, and may actually be detrimental. For example, avoiding outdoor activities to reduce your eye allergy symptoms may lead to a lack of exercise and “cabin fever.” The balance between exposure to allergens and tolerating symptoms will be different for each person.

There are a number of simple measures for reducing dust mites and controlling other indoor allergens. With seasonal allergies, people may wish to limit their time outside when pollen counts are high or use an air purifier in their home.

Conservative or “natural treatments” can be helpful at times. These may include using cold compresses on your eyes and eyewashes with tear substitutes. While these can be of some benefit, many people need medications as well.

There are a number of different options for treating eye allergies, both over-the-counter, and prescription, and both oral preparations and those applied directly to your eyes.

Oral anti-histamines. Many people with allergic eye disease will receive benefit from oral antihistamines, such as prescription or over-the-counter Claritin Zyrtec Allegra Clarinex and Xyzal Older, first-generation antihistamines or hydroxyzine are also helpful, but are generally considered too sedating for routine use.

Topical antihistamines may be helpful and include:

  • Emadine
  • Lastacraft
  • Optivar
  • Crolom
  • Alomide
  • Alocril

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Contact Allergic And Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis

Contact allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the eye comes into direct contact with a foreign object, such as a contact lens.

Symptoms of contact allergic conjunctivitis can include:

  • discomfort or pain from wearing contact lenses
  • itchiness

A person can take steps at home to help manage and treat their dry eyes. This involves a combination of controlling their environment and using over-the-counter and prescription medications.

The ACAAI recommend reducing allergic triggers in the environment by:

  • wearing glasses instead of contacts
  • washing hands after handling a pet
  • using a dehumidifier to control mold in the house
  • staying inside as much as possible during times of high pollen and closing windows
  • wearing sunglasses or glasses outside to help prevent pollen from getting into the eye
  • using mite-proof bedding and keeping living areas clean

In addition to limiting exposure to allergens, people can talk to their doctor about OTC and prescription medications for their dry eyes. Some potential options include:

A person could also try natural remedies, such as:

  • massaging the eyes to stimulate tear production
  • using a warm compress on the eyes

An Introduction To Eye Problems And Seasonal Allergies

Eye problems are perhaps the most common or significant symptom of seasonal allergies. When pollen lands on the eye, not only does this irritate the sensitive tissues, but also triggers the release of a chemical called histamine.

This reaction of the eye to pollen and other allergens is called allergic conjunctivitis. The symptoms can cause you to feel that your vision is affected. Thankfully, this is only temporary and it is extremely unlikely that any long term damage will occur to your eyes. Nevertheless, many seasonal allergies sufferers long for some relief from their symptoms.

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