Ah! Here it is. Cooler weather, friends around a fire pit, leaves changing, the sounds of geese migrating, and eye allergies. Anybody else have this problem? Instead of enjoying the beautiful weather, you are cooped up inside trying to avoid all the things that trigger those allergies.
Irritation, excessive tearing, redness, and swollen eyelids are common signs of eye allergies and pink eye. How can you tell the difference? That is the tough part. Both eye allergies and pink eye are a form of conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the eye. Eye allergies are caused by an adverse immune reaction to certain substances, such as dust or pollen. A majority of the time, pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection or a virus. With pink eye you will also experience thick mucus discharge that builds up overnight. Contacting your eye doctor at Mabee Eye Clinic is the best option to help treat either option.
Your doctor may have you try a few home remedies before seeing them in the office. First, try keeping your windows closed and avoid any sort of allergens that you know would trigger a reaction. I know that is a struggle when you have a beautiful day outside. However, avoiding certain irritants or keeping the car and house windows shut is the easiest form of prevention. If you can’t avoid the outdoors, a good pair of wraparound sunglasses can also help prevent pollens from irritating your eyes.
The second home remedy is using eye drops. Keep in mind that not all eye drops are created equal. Some drops’ main purpose is to get rid of red eyes or irritation. We typically recommend that patients use an artificial tear or lubricating drop to help flush out any irritants. Most eye allergies are caused by irritants, and simply washing your eyes out can help with relief. If you have questions regarding eye drops, it would be best to discuss that with your eye doctor.
The third option would be using a cold compress. A cold towel or ice pack can help relieve that hot and burning sensation you can get around your eyes. Simply take a clean cloth, soak it in cold water, and apply to closed irritated eyes. Repeat this process as often as you need.
If these home remedies don’t help, then you may need to try over-the-counter allergy eye drops. At the beginning of 2020 Pataday, a highly recommended prescription allergy drop by optometrists was made available for over-the-counter purchase. Pataday works in two different ways. First, it works on the mast cells in the eye. Mast cells release the histamines that make your eyes itch. “Pataday stabilizes the mast cells, preventing them from releasing histamines” (Pataday). Second, it works on blocking histamines that have already been released from attaching to the histamine receptors in the eye, breaking the chain of allergic reactions.
Don’t be controlled by your eye allergies. Try out some home remedies listed above. If your symptoms worsen or you see no relief, talk to one of our eye doctors at Mabee Eye Clinic. We can tailor a custom plan for you and your eye allergies. This will give you the freedom to enjoy the beautiful weather, change in season, and quality time with friends and family.
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