Ocular Allergies: What Are They and How Can You Treat Them?
Ocular allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, are a type of allergic reaction that affects the eyes. They are caused by the body's immune system overreacting to a foreign substance, such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. When the allergen comes into contact with the eye, it triggers the release of histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation and irritation.
The symptoms of ocular allergies can vary from person to person, but they often include:
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
In some cases, ocular allergies can also lead to more serious complications, such as corneal ulcers or infections.
If you think you may have ocular allergies, it is important to see an eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment. There are a number of things that can be done to relieve the symptoms of ocular allergies, including:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops: There are a number of OTC eye drops that can help to relieve the symptoms of ocular allergies. These drops typically contain antihistamines, which help to block the histamine that causes inflammation.
- Prescription eye drops: If OTC eye drops do not provide relief, your doctor may prescribe stronger prescription eye drops. These drops may contain steroids, which can help to reduce inflammation.
- Eyelid scrubs: Eyelid scrubs can help to remove allergens and irritants from the eyelids, which can help to relieve symptoms.
- Allergen avoidance: If you know what allergens are triggering your symptoms, you can try to avoid them. This may mean staying indoors on high-pollen days, washing your bedding frequently, or keeping pets out of your bedroom.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, can help to desensitize your body to allergens. This is a long-term treatment that requires regular injections, but it can be very effective in reducing allergy symptoms.
If you have ocular allergies, it is important to take steps to relieve your symptoms and prevent complications. By working with your eye doctor, you can find the best treatment plan for you.
If your symptoms are severe or do not improve with home treatment, schedule to see us at Lifestyle Vision.