Eye allergies that lead to itchy eyes are very common and can be a standalone condition or part of a larger problem, like nasal allergies or hay fever. Whatever your situation, you’re left with chronically itchy eyes that can be more than a mild nuisance, often interfering with your ability to function throughout the day. Sophie K. Dao, OD, specializes in eye allergies in Milpitas, California, and has a number of effective solutions to combat itchy, irritated eyes. If you suspect you may have eye allergies, call us at (408) 262-1221 for a diagnosis and treatment, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
Eye Allergies Q & A
What are eye allergies?
The term allergies describes your body’s reaction to certain foreign substances, which are called allergens. Your immune system patrols your body, keeping an eye out for foreign invaders, and jumps into action when necessary. By and large, your immune system is very effective, but sometimes it can go a little haywire, as is the case with allergies.
For reasons unknown, your immune system determines that something poses a threat, such as pollen, and triggers a response, even though the substance isn’t dangerous. In the case of eye allergies, your body releases a histamine, which causes an inflammation of the tissue surrounding your eyes, called the conjunctiva.
What causes eye allergies?
While medical researchers haven’t discovered the reason why your body’s immune system considers some things dangerous, they have narrowed down the field of the most common allergens. These are:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
These substances cause a reaction in your eye that leads to:
- Watery eyes
What else cause itchy eyes?
Itchy eyes are not always associated with allergies. Environmental irritants, such as smoke, pollution, chlorine, and dirt can also lead to symptoms that are almost identical to eye allergies.
As well, certain bacterial or viral infections can lead to itchy eyes, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Whether it’s allergies or an infection, it’s important that you seek out the help of Dr. Dao for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How are itchy eyes treated?
Before coming up with a treatment plan, Dr. Dao needs to diagnose the source of the irritation in your eyes. If she determines that allergies are at play, she turns to the following:
- Prescribed allergy medications
- Restasis® for healthy tear production
- Trigger avoidance
- Lifestyle and behavioral changes
If you have an infection, she treats the infection with special oral or topical antibiotics.
If your itchy eyes are a result of your environment, she works with you to mitigate your environmental factors, while also treating your symptoms with medications to relieve the itching and irritation.
If you have persistent, itchy eyes, call Sophie K. Dao, OD, to get to the bottom of the issue. Or schedule a consultation using the online booking tool.