Eye Care Services » Eye Allergies

Eye Allergies -  Maple Eye and Laser Center

Find Relief from Eye Allergies

Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, are a common condition that affects about one in five Americans. Watery, itchy, or red eyes can be triggered by any number of allergens, such as dust and pollen. Fortunately, the doctors at the Maple Eye and Laser Center can identify and treat your eye allergies at their White Plains, NY-area practice. To find out how we can help you find relief from eye allergies, please contact us today.

Causes

Eye allergies occur when the conjunctiva, or the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye, comes in contact with a substance that causes an allergic reaction (an allergen). There are two main types of eye allergies: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergens usually affect sufferers when pollen, weeds, trees, and other plants flourish at certain times of the year. The severity of seasonal allergies will depend on both the season and the amount of time spent outside. Those with year-round allergies typically develop reactions to indoor allergens. This can include mold, pet dander, and dust mites. For both types of allergies, irritants like dust, smoke, chlorine, and certain chemicals can trigger or worsen eye allergy symptoms.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Ocular allergy symptoms often involve eyes that:
  • Itch
  • Are red
  • Burn
  • Are watery
  • Have a clear discharge
Your ophthalmologist can usually identify eye allergies based on your symptoms alone, without the need for any specialized tests. However, eye allergies and infections often produce similar symptoms, so a standard eye exam will typically be needed to rule out an infection. A small microscope called a slit lamp will be used to check for eye allergy symptoms like dilated blood vessels and swelling. Your doctor may also check your eyes for eosinophils, or the presence of white blood cells that accumulate at the site of an allergic reaction.

Your Treatment Options

The first step in treating allergies is identifying the trigger for your symptoms. Once you isolate the cause of your discomfort, you can take some simple precautions to reduce the incidence and severity of your reaction:
  • Keeping windows closed when there is a high pollen count
  • Staying indoors as much as possible during allergy season
  • Wearing glasses to help keep allergens out of your eyes
  • Washing your hands after exposing yourself to an allergen, such as petting a cat or dog
  • Using mite-proof bedding to limit exposure to dust mites
  • Dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning floors regularly to control the build-up of pollen, dust, and pet dander
In addition to behavioral changes, there are also a variety of drops and ointments that offer relief from eye allergies. Allergies may be controlled with non-prescription remedies, like artificial tears, decongestant eye drops, or a cold compress. For severe eye allergies, your doctor may prescribe specialized eye drops, or topical ophthalmic corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

Contact Us Today to Learn More

Eye allergies can impact your everyday life but our doctors offer effective treatment. Reach out to our practice today to schedule an appointment and learn more.


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