How Can I Treat Eye Allergies at Home?
Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, are a yearly annoyance many of us have experienced firsthand. They afflict about 10% of the U.S. population and impart exasperating effects, including itchiness, sneezing, and sniffling. They may also negatively impact the eyes, causing visual disturbances, such as blurry vision. These eye allergies are also known as allergic conjunctivitis because they affect the conjunctiva, the mucus membrane on the front of your eye and inner eyelids.
Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Tepper can formulate the most effective eye care strategy possible to reduce or remove the effects of seasonal allergies. Residents of the Greater Chicago area are invited to visit us or get in touch with our team at Wickerpark Eye Center in Chicago, IL.
Why do ocular allergies occur?
Allergic conjunctivitis has multiple unpleasant symptoms, especially discomfort, which may manifest as itchiness, scratchiness, or the feeling of something stuck in your eye. Allergy sufferers may also experience a burning sensation. Ocular allergies could also cause redness or inflammation of the white of the eye (sclera) or the inner eyelids – the areas of the conjunctiva mucus membrane. Symptoms can also include excessive tearing or watering, which indicates how allergies generally work.
Allergies are a consequence of overactive immunity. Our immune systems are efficient at dealing with pathogens, often quashing a threat before it can develop into illness. However, sometimes the immune system overreacts, perceiving generally harmless things as threats. These harmless substances include pollen, pet dander, and other irritants that may otherwise be benign.
Yet, they stimulate an immune reaction nonetheless, and the body releases numerous chemicals. These include histamines, the chemicals responsible for many adverse effects, like sneezing and tearing in the eyes. These symptoms aren’t just exasperating; they serve a purpose. They work to help remove whatever substance is deemed as a threat to our health. The intent is noble, but the consequences are not.
How can I treat eye allergies at home?
Fortunately, there are multiple strategies we can employ to mitigate the annoyance. First, Dr. Tepper and our expert team will get to the root of your problem to discover which substances irritate your eyes. Then, we’ll formulate a plan to help you avoid as many irritants as possible.
For example, tobacco smoke or certain chemicals may be to blame. In this case, it could be beneficial to foster a cleaner environment through vacuuming, using air purifiers, or something similar. Cosmetics could also exacerbate one’s ocular allergies, so it’s recommended to seek out alternatives or halt their use. Air conditioner use could assist in clearing the air, though be sure to avoid it blowing into your eyes, as this could increase dryness and allergic symptoms.
Many allergens may be present on one’s fingers, so properly washing your hands (and face) will be a boon in keeping them away from your eyes. It’s also best to avoid scratching your eyes. Allergy medications, such as antihistamines or eye drops, could also provide a comforting boost. Additionally, excessive screen time may be impactful. So, be sure to take frequent breaks if your job or lifestyle includes a lot of screen time, whether in front of a computer, tablet, or phone.
Fight back against eye allergies with a customized treatment plan
Allergies can be an annoyance and detriment. But our expert ophthalmologists, led by Dr. Daniel Tepper, can help you find relief. We offer multiple treatment options, including allergen shots, eye drops, and strategies to boost your comfort and ocular wellness at home.
If you’re seeking a break from allergic annoyances, we welcome individuals in the Greater Chicago area to reach out to us at Wickerpark Eye Center in Chicago, IL.