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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Eye Allergies - What To Do & What Not To Do?

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Dr. Minal KaurOphthalmologist • 23 Years Exp.DNB Ophtalmology, MS - Ophthalmology, MBBS, Fellowship in Medical Retina, Fellowship in IOL & Cataract Microsurgery
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Eye allergy or allergic conjunctivitis is an adverse immune response of the body that occurs when it comes across an irritating substance or allergens like smoke, dust or pollen. The body assumes these to be harmful substances and releases chemicals called histamine to fight against them.

Symptoms of an eye allergy-

Allergy in the eyes causes the occurrence of certain symptoms-

• Itching in the eyes

• The sensation of burning in the eyes

• Redness

• Watery discharge

• Swollen eyelids

• Light sensitive

What triggers it?

An eye allergy is usually triggered by the following components-

• Pollen

• Dander

• Dust Mites

• Mould

• Pet Dander

• Exhaust from vehicles

What to do if you suffer from eye allergy-

• Consult an eye specialist or allergist - It is important to consult a physician since the symptoms may pertain to other allergies like asthma or eczema that have different treatment.

• Take proper medication - Take the prescribed eye drops, oral histamines or decongestants to alleviate the symptoms.

• Avoid the allergen - It is difficult to do so if the allergies are seasonal, that means if the eye allergies always occur during specific seasons of the year. If they are not seasonal, you can avoid the allergens if you

  1. Keep the doors and windows closed at home and while riding the car
  2. Take a shower or change your clothes after coming back home from outside
  3. Wear an allergy-relief mask while outside to filter the smoke, dust, etc.
  4. Wear glasses to protect eyes from the allergens
  5. Wash hands after petting any animal
  6. Use a dehumidifier to protect against mould

• Take allergy shots - These are good precautionary measures for seasonal allergies. These increase the tolerance for the irritants. Similarly some eyedrops can be given to decrease the frequency, severity and intensity of allergy episodes.

Natural remedies - If nothing else works you can use a cold compress to relieve the itchy eyes. Eat walnuts, fish oil and flaxseed oil that contain Omega- 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammatory substances in the body.

What not to do if you are having an eye allergy-

• Avoid rubbing your eyes; that will further irritate your eyes and damaged the eye surface

• Do not keep your indoor surroundings dirty and dusty

• Do not dry-sweep the floors

• Do not pet any animal if you are allergic to animal dander

There is no permanent cure for eye allergies yet but the proper treatment and precautions can help to reduce many of the symptoms. Over-the-counter medications may work out for some people but others may require severe treatment. Remember in spite of prophylactic or therapeutic treatment if u are exposed to a high load of allergens, you will develop symptoms of allergies but they will be milder than if u had no prophylaxis.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!

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