Diagnosis Of Allergic Conjunctivitis
The diagnosis of allergic conjunctivitis is made with a history of symptoms suggestive of eye allergies, an examination by a healthcare professional with findings consistent with conjunctivitis, and, often times, allergy testing showing seasonal or perennial allergies. A response to typical medications is helpful in the ultimate diagnosis of allergic eye disease, and failure to respond to medications may lead to a search for a different diagnosis.
When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Eye Allergies
Although allergies often improve with avoidance of the allergen, this is often not practically feasible. If symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are adversely affecting quality of life, seeking care from an allergist or ophthalmologist may help provide symptomatic relief. There are a host of options to help manage symptoms, including environmental control measures, medical therapy, and allergen immunotherapy.
If an individual is experiencing any changes in vision, such as blurred vision, floaters, or double vision, this warrants prompt medical evaluation, typically with an ophthalmologist.
What Causes An Eye Allergy
Ocular allergies often affect the conjunctiva, a clear layer of mucous membrane overlying the eyes. This clear layer of mucous membrane is the same type of mucous membrane that lines the inside surface of the nose. As these two areas are so similar, the same allergens can trigger the same allergic response in both areas.
Common allergens include the following:
The main difference between SAC and PAC is the timing of the symptoms.
- In an individual with SAC, symptoms are generally limited to a defined period of time.
- Typically, tree pollen causes symptoms in the spring, grasses cause symptoms in the summer, and weeds trigger symptoms in late summer and fall time until the first hard frost.
- Symptoms generally resolve during other times of the year, particularly during the wintertime.
- Mattering and/or mucous production
- Mild swelling around the eyes
- Importantly, symptoms of pain, blurred vision, double vision, or changes in vision are not typical for allergic conjunctivitis and warrant prompt medical attention.
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Nosh On Berries To Fight Histamine Release
A flavonoid called quercetin which is present in blueberries, bilberries, and blackberries and which gives them their trademark color can stop your body from producing and releasing histamine. One study even found that when people took a quercetin glycoside 4 weeks before pollen counts became high in the atmosphere, they experienced relief from symptoms such as itching and watering of the eyes caused by cedar pollen.12 So start snacking on yummy berries before pollen season gets here to beat your eye allergy.13
Use With Contact Lenses
Speaking of contacts, its important to make sure the eye drops are safe for use with your lenses.
Most eye drop instructions recommend waiting 10 to 15 minutes before putting in your contacts, says Dr. Dass, who emphasizes the importance of reading the instructions that come with your brand of eye drops .
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It’s More Common Than You Think
If you suffer from eye allergies, then you’re not alone. Also called ocular allergies or allergic conjunctivitis, they’re much more common than many people might realize. According to studies, one in every five Americans suffers from some kind of eye-related allergy. That means that you’re in good company if your eyes are periodically itchy, puffy, red and watery.
If you’re aware of your particular triggers, try to avoid them. If you’ve never had allergies before, and you find that your eyes are red and watery, then you might want to see a doctor. Chances are it’s an unusual allergic reaction, but it could also be an infection in the making.
Tips For Preventing Allergic Itchy Watery Eyes
1. Always wash hands and face after coming in from outdoors to remove pollen. Change your clothes immediately after outdoor activities, and have your children change their clothes when they come in from playing outside.2. Wash your hair more frequently since pollen can linger in your hair, exposing you to more of the allergens.3. Avoid rubbing your eyes if/when they itch. Rubbing actually releases more histamine which in turn will create further eye irritation.4. Give your eyes a break from wearing contacts The surface of the lenses can be a magnet for airborne allergens.5. Apply a cold compress or washcloth to reduce eye swelling and get quick eye relief. Heat will exacerbate ocular allergies, so avoid warm compresses.6. Use artificial tear eye drops regularly to flush allergens out of your eyes. Try to pick drops that do not get the red out, since they often contain ingredients that may cause rebound redness if used too frequently . If you use drops more than 1-2x/day, try using preservative-free artificial tears, which come in single-use vials.7. If at-home eye remedies and artificial tears do not do the trick, consider an antihistamine eye drop. Ketotifen fumarate is a great over-the-counter antihistamine eye drop thats used 1-2x/day per eye during allergic flare-ups.8. Wear sunglasses outside to protect the surface of your eyes from direct contact with allergens. Most sunglasses have larger lenses than everyday eyeglasses and, therefore, provide more protection.
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Do Humidifiers Help With Allergies Notes To Remember
Running your home humidifier can help alleviate a range of allergic conditions. Yet, it’s important to keep it clean and well-maintained to ensure your efforts don’t work against you.
When you fail to clean your humidifier on a regular basis, the moist environment in the tank can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold and other harmful microorganisms. If you then run the unit as normal, those organisms are released back into your indoor air, along with your sensitive airways.
It’s best to deep clean your humidifier once a week, and remember to change the water every day. In addition, the following best practices can help keep your unit as sanitary and fresh as possible:
- Use demineralized or distilled water, not tap water
- Clean off any mineralized crusts
- Change the filter weekly
- Use natural cleansers rather than chemicals
Especially if you have an allergic reaction to dust mites or mold, a humidifier can make your symptoms worse if you become lax on your upkeep. As long as you keep up with these steps, you can use your system to your advantage and experience much-deserved relief.
To Ease Your Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Feast On Foods Like Honey And Turmeric Which Have Natural Antihistamine And Anti
Its hard to be enthusiastic about spring when you suffer from the itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, and runny nose associated with allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. And the cureover-the-counter antihistamines that leave you foggy and dried outisnt much better. But these potent immune-boosting foods can help.
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What Can Be Done To Relieve Eye Allergies
There are preventive measures you can take to minimize the risk of suffering from eye allergies. Certain medications can also help relieve the symptoms.
If you want to avoid triggers of your eye allergy, observe the following practices:
1. Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses when outdoors. This will help keep the pollen out of your eyes.
2. Wash your hands after touching pets.
3. Keep your windows closed during pollen season. Use your air conditioning, and make sure your air filter isnt clogged with dirt.
4. Use mite-proof bedding so that you can minimize your exposure to dust mites. Consider running dehumidifier to reduce the risk of mold growth.
There may be days when you have no control over your environment, but dont worry because there are nonprescription medications that you can use to relieve your allergies. These include eye drops and antihistamines.
1. Eye Drops You can choose among several brands of non-prescription eye drops to relieve itchiness, redness, and watery eyes. These eye drops are good for relatively mild symptoms.
2. Antihistamines Your body responses to allergens by releasing histamine, a substance that dilates blood vessels and makes the walls of blood vessels permeable. This then results in a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines reduce such effects by blocking the attachment of histamine to the cells in your body, which produce an allergic reaction.
Final Thoughts On Turmeric For Asthma & Allergy Symptoms
Does turmeric help with allergies and asthma symptoms? The answer appears to be, yes. Current evidence suggests curcumin may be able to inhibit mast cell activation, limit histamine release, and fight the bodys inflammatory response linked to asthma attacks and allergies.
Remember, turmeric with black pepper is not a cure for asthma or allergies. However, it may be an excellent complementary supplement to help control and reduce symptomology and allergic reactions. Always consult a doctor or primary care physician when adding new dietary supplements to your daily regimen.
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It is suspected that bacteria also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease besides cigarette smoking.
In a mouse model, the inclusion of curcumin in the diet inhibits intrinsic and extrinsic inflammation in the lungs.
What it means: Turmeric helps in maintaining the overall health of the lungs by lowering inflammation and controlling signal pathways.
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Seasonal Vs Perennial Eye Allergies
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is the most common form of eye allergy, with grass and ragweed pollens being the most common seasonal triggers. It often accompanies other symptoms of seasonal allergies such as a runny, itchy nose, and nasal drainage. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis is also very common, with animal dander, feathers, and dust mites being the most important triggers.
Eye Drops Can Provide Relief
Many of the eye drops you can buy over the counter from the pharmacy contain active ingredients that are the same as those that treat nasal allergies. Different active ingredients treat different aspects of allergies. Antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers prevent the release of histamine and other compounds that cause itchy eyes. Artificial tears and tear substitutes used for dry eye syndrome keep eyes lubricated and help rinse away allergens. drops minimize the appearance of blood vessels, which cause red eyes. Some kinds of eye drops may not be appropriate for some individuals, so discuss any you intend to use with your doctor first. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drops and steroids are available from your doctor by prescription. Ask your doctor for an eye care routine that is best for you.
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Eye Allergy Treatment And Tips
The best way to treat eye allergies is to mitigate exposure to the allergens causing the issue. This can be especially true if you have seasonal allergies. Try to limit time outdoors when pollen is at its peak, and clean your air filters in the fall and winter to help prevent cold-weather allergies.
Drink Lemon Juice To Tackle Allergic Reactions
Lemon contains the flavonoid hesperetin and vitamin C. Both these compounds have antihistamine properties and can help prevent an allergic reaction. One case study found that a woman who was sensitive to a variety of substances from detergents, dust, and pollen to perfumes experienced relief from symptoms when she had lemon juice. Interestingly, the lemon juice worked in half an hour and cleared symptoms of not only eye allergy but also nasal allergy.78
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Turmeric For Asthma & Allergy Relief: Is Curcumin An Antihistamine
In the past decade, weve witnessed a significant increase in asthma and allergies in developed countries. One study analyzed the immunomodulatory effects of curcumin on subjects with allergies. Immunomodulation refers to the alteration of the immune response back to normal levels.
Individuals treated with curcumin experienced antiallergic effects inhibiting the release of histamine from mast cells. Further animal research also demonstrated marked inhibition of the allergic response using turmeric. These findings suggest curcumin may have an antihistamine-like effect.
A second trial conducted evaluated the efficacy of turmeric against chronic inflammatory disease, bronchial asthma. The study contained a total of 77 patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Each subject received a total of 1,000 mg of curcumin per day, split into two 500 mg doses for a 30-day treatment period.
The studys results showed that the curcumin group saw significant improvements in airway obstruction. This benefit likely occurred due to turmerics anti-inflammatory effect leading to increased lung function. The researchers concluded that curcumin is a safe add-on therapy for bronchial asthma treatment.
Another trial tested turmerics effects on airflow and nasal symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis . The study was double-blind, randomized, and contained 241 patients. Each participant received either an oral curcumin supplement or a placebo for a 2-month treatment period.
Have An Allergy Plan And Stick To It
The best way to avoid suffering from itchy, swollen eyes, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms is to prevent symptoms before they start. Know your allergy triggers and do your best to avoid them. Do you feel better or worse during certain times of the year? Your doctor can perform allergy testing to identify which substances are irritants for you. You may need a combination of oral medications, nasal sprays, eye drops, and shots to control your eye allergy and allergic symptoms. Ask your doctor how best to control your chronic allergy symptoms and what to do if you have an allergic reaction.
Ask whether home remedies, like applying a cool compress over itchy eyes, will help. Discuss plans for how to treat mild and more severe symptoms with the doctor. Ditch the contact lenses when itchy eyes flare up. Stick to glasses. Follow your doctor’s eye care instructions. Stash moisturizing eyedrops on hand at home and work to treat dry eyes when they occur. Protect your eye health by wearing sunglasses outside. You can manage diseases like eye allergies, asthma, eczema, and other conditions with the right plan.
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How To Help Prevent An Allergic Reaction
Unfortunately, theres no cure for allergies. You cant prevent your dog from having allergies.
However, there are things you can do to help keep their symptoms and discomfort under control.
First, you have to identify the underlying cause, be it seasonal, food, flea, etc. From there you can help your dog avoid those allergens.
Carvalho explained that sometimes a prescription diet could be necessary along with using flea/ectoparasite control all year round. Pet owners should also keep an eye out for and treat any itches so that they dont lead to inflamed and infected skin and ears.
Because good health for your canine companion is always in season .
Symptoms Of Fall Allergies
While allergies can cause symptoms throughout your body and make you feel congested and sluggish, one of the most common places they show themselves is in your eyes. “Patients with seasonal allergies may experience eye itching and itching around their eyes, watery eyes, eye redness, eye puffiness, and dark circles under their eyes,” says Dr. Haizen. If you’ve ever dealt with any of these, you know that the itching, in particular, can be brutal. The reason? “Eye itching is caused by histamine released by the body after an allergic trigger is sensed,” says Dr. Haizen. “When patients with allergies itch their eyes, more histamine is released and eye itching continues or increases instead of feeling relief unless medication is taken.”
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How A Humidifier Can Help
How can a large bedroom humidifier help relieve your symptoms of allergic rhinitis? Put simply, it helps reduce the inflammation in your nose.
If your nasal passages are already inflamed due to allergies, dry indoor air can exacerbate the issue and make it much more uncomfortable. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for sores and blisters to develop inside or around your nose in response to these arid conditions. You can even get nosebleeds!
If you’re constantly blowing your nose or sniffling due to an allergic reaction, you don’t need to breathe in dry air. Not only could it damage your nose even more, but it can also turn your eyes red and make your skin itch.
Rather, you need to amplify the relative humidity levels in your home, and a humidifier can help you do so.
As you breathe in the water vapor that emits from the machine, you’ll find that you can breathe more easily. Anyone who’s ever lied awake at night due to a blocked nose knows the sheer relief this can bring!
This is because your nasal passages are finally able to relax. As they do so, mucus can flow more freely out of your body. You’ll find that your coughs are more productive, as are your nose-blowing efforts.
In time, this can help relieve your symptoms. You’ll also find that you’re able to sleep through the night more easily! Plug in your essential oil diffuser to turn your bedroom into an oasis and drift into dreamland.
Bottom Line On Eye Allergies
Eye allergies may seem like a minor complaint relative to some other medical conditions, but can seriously affect your quality of life. Whether your allergies occur only seasonally or are instead present year-round, avoidance is not always possible, nor always a healthy option.
Fortunately, there are many good treatments available which can reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Everyone is different with regard to which treatments work best. Some people prefer oral treatments whereas others prefer eye drops. Caution is needed with some of these medications to prevent rebound symptoms such as with conjunctivitis medicamentosa.)
Working with your allergist can help you find the treatment which best controls your symptoms and restores your quality of life. For some people, especially those who are also coping with allergic rhinitis or asthma, allergy shots may eventually eliminate your eye symptoms so that medications are no longer needed.
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