Read this interview with our optometrists' at Texas State Optical. They answer your questions about eye allergy symptoms, causes and treatments.
1) Please describe the more common symptoms, as well as some of the less common and less known symptoms of Eye Allergies.
Symptoms for ocular allergies include itching, watering, burning and stinging. They can also include light sensitivity, foreign body sensation, and mucous discharge.
2) Is there anything unique about allergies that affect the eyes, or is this the same as general allergies?
The eyes tend to be one of the most sensitive organs in the body, therefore, allergens can cause symptoms in the eyes prior to the nasal congestion, coughing, and sneezing caused by general allergies.
3) What causes Eye Allergies?
Any kind of irritant can cause eye allergies, whether it airborne like pollen, cedar or mold or other substances such as chemicals, medicines or smoke.
4) Is it true that there are certain times of the year that are worse, or is the whole year a problem?
It depends on the person and on the allergen. Allergies can fall into two categories, seasonal and perennial. Seasonal meaning, they only affect us at certain times of the year, and perennial meaning that they affect us year round. In most cases, certain times of the year are worse than others.
5) What type of treatment options are available for patients that come in to see their optometrist with eye allergy symptoms?
In most cases, topical anti-histamine drops can be used for patients with these symptoms. For less severe cases, lubricating drops can be sufficient and for more severe cases, anti-inflammatory drops can be prescribed for relief.
6) Are there treatments for eye allergies that offer permanent relief, or only temporary?
Current treatments can only offer temporary relief but can greatly reduce symptoms. If you do suffer from allergies, call Texas State Optical at Capital Plaza to set up a consultation with an eye doctor and explore what can be done for you.
7) Is it possible to wear contact lenses without causing additional discomfort?
There are daily replacement contact lenses that work well with patients that suffer with moderate to severe ocular allergies.
8) Can you provide general recommendations that may help people suffering from Eye Allergies?
Limit contact lens wear during times of allergic symptoms and start using anti-histamine topical medications before symptoms get too severe. Avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, and see your optometrist ASAP if symptoms continue to persist.