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Eye Allergies

Eye allergies rarely cause vision impairment. Itching is the most vital symptom of allergic eyes. Although most of the eye allergies are not dangerous, persistent eye allergies should be treated and it is wise to administer drugs after consulting and ophthalmologist.

Eye Allergies, Contact Lenses, Vision Care, Eye care, Eye problems, Eye Conditions, Eyeglasses

When life had begun to appear on earth, one of the first things to develop was the eyes. The importance of eyes for the survival of any species on the earth can be gauged from this fact. The defense mechanisms put up by the body to protect eyes are quite striking. It includes the eyelids, eyelashes and the conjunctiva, which covers the eyeball. In spite of all this defense mechanism of the body, eyes continue to be one of the most sensitive organs in the human body and are always open to the attack of airborne allergens.

Tears continuously keep the eyes clean but are ineffective when dealing with allergens. An allergy occurs due to the immune response of the body to a foreign particle. Most of the time an allergy is caused by the overreaction of the body. In the eyes, the allergic reaction occurs to the conjunctiva – a transparent membrane covering the eyeball and the under surface of the eyelid. Dust, mold, pet dander and tree pollen are some of the most common allergens. If you are allergic to a particular substance, and when your eyes come into contact with the substance, it will kick start an allergic reaction.

It is estimated that more 50 million Americans suffer from various type of allergies. In it, majority of the people suffer from eye allergies. People with allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis or strong family history of allergy are more prone to have eye allergies.

Causes of Eye Allergies

An allergic reaction to the conjunctiva is popularly known as allergic conjunctivitis or ‘pink eye.’ It varies from soft irritation of the eyes to severe itching, which leads to corneal scaring. Direct contact with the allergen is the main cause of eye allergies. The contact can happen through air, hands and from materials used to rub the eyes.

Pollens, spores, pet dander, hair, dust, grass, mold, weeds, certain plants, nail polish, certain medicines and secretions like saliva are some of the most common allergens. The conjunctiva when comes into contact with an allergen produces a chemical called histamine, which causes the symptoms associated with eye allergies.

Cigarette smoke, wind, perfumes, air pollution, diesel exhaust also creates irritation to the conjunctiva but this is not included in eye allergies.

Symptoms of Eye Allergies

Itching is the most important symptom of eye allergy. Redness, watery discharge, swelling of the eyeball, tearing, burning sensation, pain while opening eyelids after sleep, blurred vision, pus formation and the feeling of an alien body in the eye are some of the common symptoms. People wearing contact lens will have discomfort in wearing it. Eye allergies mostly affect both the eyes.

Dry eye and tear duct obstruction are sometimes confused as eye allergies. These two types of ailments have similar symptoms to eye allergies. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by bacteria and viruses.

Conclusion

Eye allergies rarely cause vision impairment. Itching is the most vital symptom of allergic eyes. Although most of the eye allergies are not dangerous, persistent eye allergies should be treated and it is wise to administer drugs after consulting and ophthalmologist.

 

Eye Allergies Types

Allergic conjunctivitis is divided into several subtypes depending on the nature of the allergen. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, vernal conjunctivitis, perennial allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, medication reactions, contact lens allergy, giant papillary conjunctivitis, contact eye allergies and toxic papillary reactions are some of the most common type of eye allergies.

Eye Allergies Types, Contact Lenses, Vision Care, Eye care, Eye problems, Eye Conditions, Eyeglasses

Allergic conjunctivitis is divided into several subtypes depending on the nature of the allergen. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, vernal conjunctivitis, perennial allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, medication reactions, contact lens allergy, giant papillary conjunctivitis, contact eye allergies and toxic papillary reactions are some of the most common type of eye allergies.

Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis: Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis as the name suggests are eye allergies caused during the particular season of a year. In it the eyes become red, watery and itchy. Persons affected also have burning sensation and eyelid swelling. During the summer season, it is caused due the exposure to grass and different types of tree pollen. In the fall, it is caused mainly due to the exposure to weed pollen. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is sometimes referred as ‘hay fever eyes or hay fever conjunctivitis or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.’ An estimated 25% of American population is affected by seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

Topical antihistamine, topical decongestants and mast cell stabilizers are the ideal treatments. An ophthalmologist should be consulted, if there is a decrease in vision or excessive pain or thick discharge,

Vernal Conjunctivitis: Vernal conjunctivitis is a severe form of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and is mainly seen in children and youngsters. In it the eye become itchy, red and watery and develops pain. The eyes become sticky due to a discharge and are quite hard to open. The pain intensifies when opening the eyes after sleeping. The inner membranes of the eyelids swell and conjunctiva has change in appearance. Vernal conjunctivitis should be treated immediately as it can lead to corneal damage.

Topical antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and low dose topical steroids are the most effective form of treatment. The occurrence of the allergy is more common during late spring, when dry and dusty conditions prevail. Using sunglasses can be very helpful.

Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis: Perennial allergic conjunctivitis occurs throughout the year and can be caused by both indoor and outdoor allergens. The main causes are house dust mites, pet dander and several other indoor allergens. In it the eyes become mildly itchy, watery and red.

Atopic keratoconjunctivitis: Atopic keratoconjunctivitis is one of the most severe forms of eye allergies. People with eczema are more prone to it. Continuous itching and dry eyes are the common symptoms, which is followed by blurred vision. Atopic keratoconjunctivitis, also referred as eczema eyes, if not treated can lead to corneal swelling and conjunctival scarring. This form of eye allergy is quite rare and is seen mainly in older people.

Apart from airborne allergens, atopic keratoconjunctivitis can be caused by common food substances. Topical antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers and short term use of steroids are the ideal treatment. This type of allergy should be treated immediately as there have been rare cases which have led to blindness.

Medication Reactions: Eye allergies can be caused by the intake of certain medicines. Conjunctival swelling and itching are the common reactions. The reactions occur immediately and can vary from mild to severe. Anesthetics, bacitracin, topical penicillin, and sulfacetamide are some of the medicines which can trigger eye allergies.

 

Six Great Tips For Dry Eyes

Faulty tear glands may not be something you think about until you experience the aching, itching and stinging that can accompany dry eyes. Dry eyes can be more than a minor burden; serious dryness can lead to abrasions of the cornea and possibly blindness if left untreated.

More than 3.2 million women and 1.6 million men (in the United States) over the age of 50 experience the symptoms of dry eye. For some the experience is occasional, while others must learn to deal with ...

Faulty tear glands may not be something you think about until you experience the aching, itching and stinging that can accompany dry eyes. Dry eyes can be more than a minor burden; serious dryness can lead to abrasions of the cornea and possibly blindness if left untreated.

More than 3.2 million women and 1.6 million men (in the United States) over the age of 50 experience the symptoms of dry eye. For some the experience is occasional, while others must learn to deal with constant dryness.

The causes for dry eyes are varied. They can include decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure medicine, winter winds, air conditioning and indoor heating. Whatever the cause, there is a variety of natural remedies and preventable measures you can undertake to help your eyes stay moist.

Smoking: Simple...Quit. Smoking has been shown to dry out your eyes. In addition, smoking increases the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Automobile Air vents: Vents pointed at your face and eyes can quickly drain the moisture in your eyes. Make sure to aim the vents away from your eyes or wear sunglasses for protection.

Omega-3: A recent study out of Japan has found that omega-3 supplementation could help prevent dry-eye syndrome.

Vitamin A: Taking a vitamin A supplement or eating vitamin A rich foods such as salmon or eggs can help keep your eyes moist.

Blink: In the electronic age, many of us spend a good deal of time staring at a computer screen. This can irritate even mild cases of dry eyes. When you are concentrating, you tend not to blink as much. Not blinking as frequently will make eye moisture evaporate rapidly. Ever so often, look away from your computer (or television) and take a blink break. Your eyes will thank you.

Humidify: Low moisture levels can dry your eyes fast. The winter can be especially drying during sleep. If possible, get a humidifier for the areas in which you spend a lot of time.

Your eyes are one of your most prized possessions. Think for a second what life would be like without them. It is important not to take them for granted. I hope the above remedies help, if not or if the problem persists, get to an eye doctor.




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