Dealing With Allergies

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Springtime is a time for joy. However that joy is slightly dampened by the coming of springtime allergies.  Eye allergies often arise in the spring. It is important to understand the symptoms of eye allergies so you can quickly understand that your problems might be resulting from an allergy and then take the appropriate steps to alleviate it.


Symptoms can include redness in the white of the eye or the inner eyelid. Other signs are: tearing, itchy eyes, blurred vision, burning sensation, eyelid swelling, and sensitivity to light. Eye allergies can start alone or you might experience nasal allergies and the allergic skin condition eczema (skin become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding) along with eye allergies. The only way to know for sure if it is an eye allergy is to make a trip to your doctor.

When your eyes itch you may have a strong urge to rub them but rubbing itchy eyes can make things worse. Rubbing your eyes may cause the mast cells (Mast cells are “master regulators” of the immune system; They come from bone marrow and go into all tissues of the body and are known to cause severe allergies) to release some more of the chemicals which led to your eyes itching in the first place! When your eyes are itching, remove your contact lenses (if you wear them), avoid eye makeup, and apply cool compresses to your eyes. Also wash your hands as often as possible.

Many eye allergies are triggered by grass, tree and weed pollen to name a few, because they may have seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. When pollen counts are high, try to stay indoors and keep your windows closed and air conditioner on. When you do have to step out, wear sunglasses to keep the pollen off your eyes.

There are indoor eye allergens too. Pet dander, dust mites and mold are some of the top indoor offenders. These triggers tend to cause symptoms all year long. To help control pet related allergies, keep your pet out of your bedroom. If you play with other people’s pets then limit exposure by washing your hands immediately after touching the pet. Also change clothes as soon as you reach home.

In case of dust mites try to clean floors with a damp mop instead of sweeping because sweeping will stir up allergens and spread them in the air. Also buy bedding and pillow cases that keep out dust mites. Wash your sheets in hot water. Try to keep humidity levels in your home between 30% and 50%.

If indoor mold is the cause of your eye problems then regularly clean your bathrooms, kitchens, and basements where mold lurks. Also buy a dehumidifier and clean it often. A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can also help to trap the mold spores before they can attack your eyes.

Most of the drops used for combating eye allergies have the same medication used to treat nasal allergies: antihistamines, decongestants, and mast cell stabilizers. Antihistamines fight symptoms by blocking the effect of histamine. Mast cell stabilizers lower inflammation by stopping the release of chemicals such as histamines from the mast cells.

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