Treatment for Ocular Allergies in Joplin MO
While most people love the delicate pink of chrysanthemums which grow well in Joplin, MO, allergy sufferers probably do not love the effects these and so many other flowers and plants have on their eyes!
Are your eyes itchy, red, swollen or watery? These are all common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, better known as eye allergies.
In addition to pollen from flowers and other plants, typical irritants include dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander.
If you experience irritation in and around your eyes (that doesn’t go away quickly), visit your eye doctor at Coleman Vision for an eye exam. If we determine that eye allergies are to blame for your symptoms, we will recommend an effective treatment to relieve your irritation.
Basics of Eye Allergies
Essentially, the symptoms of eye allergies appear when your immune system mistakenly identifies a particular substance as a threat. In response, your body produces antibodies and sends them coursing through your bloodstream to attack the offending particles. These antibodies release chemicals into your cells, ultimately causing the nasty symptoms of an allergic reaction.
With ocular allergies, irritation generally appears very soon after exposure to the allergen. Your vision is not in any danger, but the symptoms can be unsightly and very uncomfortable.
Hay fever is a common seasonal allergy that impacts the eyes. Dusting or sweeping your home may also trigger allergies, as it stirs allergens into the air. Other known causes of eye allergies are cosmetics, perfume, and cigarette smoke.
- Swollen, puffy eyelids
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
It’s important to recognize that all of the above symptoms could also indicate a different medical problem, such as dry eye. That’s why it is essential to schedule an eye exam with your optometrist in Joplin, MO. You need a correct diagnosis in order to benefit from the correct treatment!
Treatment for Eye Allergies
Avoidance is the gold standard for managing eye allergies. However, some irritants are not completely avoidable.
If indoor allergies are causing your symptoms, we recommend that you invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove as many allergens from your environment as possible. If you own a pet, don’t let your furry friend rest on your sofa or bed.
Unless you remain inside with the windows shut, outdoor allergies can be trickier to evade. Our eye doctors advise the following:
- Wear (large or wraparound) sunglasses to block pollen from contacting your eyes
- Wash your hands well after petting any furry animals or touching plants
- Don’t rub your eyes, which can spread allergens
- Insert saline drops into your eyes after spending time outdoors; this will rinse allergens out from your sensitive eye tissues
- Use oral antihistamine medications and over-the-counter eye drops to suppress the allergic reaction. This may help as a short-term solution, yet prolonged use of some eye drops may worsen symptoms over time. Consult with our experienced optometrist about which brands are best.
- Prescription drugs, such as corticosteroids and mast cell stabilizers, may help relieve the irritating symptoms of eye allergies
Contact Lenses & Eye Allergies
Many of our Joplin, MO, patients wear contact lenses with no problem throughout the year – until allergy season starts. Airborne allergens can stick to your contacts, which causes irritation. To deal with this problem, we may advise you to reduce the amount of time that you wear your contact lenses during problematic times of year.
Daily disposables are very helpful, as you discard them before there is time for irritants to build up on the lens surface. In general, proper disinfection and rinsing of your lenses will help to decrease the symptoms of eye allergies. We may also prescribe specialized rinsing eye drops to use while you are wearing lenses.
If seasonal allergies are causing itchy, watery eyes, our eye doctors will assess your symptoms, discuss allergy treatment options and prescribe what you need to help you feel better as soon as possible. Don't wait for symptoms to get worse. Get relief. Call or book online today.