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Eye Allergies – More Than Irritating

eye allergies can be painfulEye allergies can sometimes seem to take a back seat to many of the nasal and seasonal allergy symptoms that are complained about today.  Television commercials tend to focus on the sneezing and the congestion but many seasonal allergy sufferers also suffer from irritating eye allergies.  Some may debate whether eye allergies are really an allergy all to their own since many times they are basically a symptom of another type of allergy like nasal allergies.  What elevates it to it’s own category is how irritating and debilitating it can be to have your eyes affected by allergens.

Our eyes are such an important part of our everyday functioning that eye allergy symptoms can really make some of us dysfunctional.  Eye allergy symptoms include swollen, red and irritated eyes.  In more severe cases they can cause blurriness too.  Many times sufferers make their symptoms worse by rubbing their eyes.  Our eyes are particularly vulnerable since they are exposed to the elements so to speak.

The most common type of allergen to cause eyes to have an allergic reaction is pollen but any airborne type of particle can irritate the eye, especially those who have a history of allergies.  Dust can also be a culprit.  This can be blown into your environment by forced hot air systems or just blown around in the act of every day cleaning.

Can eye allergies be treated?  It of course depends on the cause of the allergic reaction itself.  The best approach to eye allergy treatment is really the old school method of identifying what your eyes are reacting to and doing your best to avoid those allergens.  In the case of dust and pollen, air cleaners also called air purifiers can decrease the level of those particles in the air.  Dry air also can irritate the eyes so humidifiers can also be useful.

The next phase of eye allergy treatment would be to look at both over the counter and prescription eye allergy medicines.  You do need to note that many allergy medicines for seasonal allergies do not directly address eye allergy symptoms.  Since eye allergies tend to be associated with nasal allergies many people think their nasal symptom medicine will help their eye allergy symptoms.  In general antihistamine type medicines may help but you may have to get dedicated prescription eye drops.  We have actually used Visine allergy drops for short eye allergy flare ups in our house but if these over the counter drops don’t work you really should consult with your doctor.  Prescription allergy eye drops are not that hard to use since you typically use them once or twice a day and can just be implemented in your normal morning and night routines.

It is important to note that eye allergies can be confused with actual eye infections caused by viruses and bacteria.  What most people think of as conjunctivitis can be broken down into viral, bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis so it is important to pay attention to your eye allergy symptoms and to see your doctor when they don’t get better.  Different medicines will be prescribed if it is not allergic conjunctivitis – eye allergies.  Either way managing and treating your eye allergies will improve your daily quality of life.

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