What is an Eye Allergy?
Eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction that occurs on the surface of the eye. It is characterized by inflammation, redness, and itching of the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids.
Causes of Eye Allergies
Airborne contaminants are the primary causes of eye allergies. They include pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander. Makeup and other man-made chemicals can also irritate the eyes and incite an allergic reaction.
Treatment of Eye Allergy
If you are experiencing eye allergies it is best to try and flush away the irritant with saline solution or eye drops. Antihistamines or corticosteroid may be prescribed by a health professional should your reaction be severe.
Eye allergy treatment primarily consists of allergen avoidance; avoiding the cause of the allergy. The use of cold compresses made with clean gauze soaked in ice water is another way to avoid pain and burning sensation in the eyes, and it is effective in mild or moderate allergy cases.
Using artificial eye drops 1-4 times daily can also bring significant relief and is safe for all ages. If the options above are unsuccessful, you can choose to use antihistamines and topic decongestants such as Levocabastine, Emendastine or Ketorolac to lessen the burning sensation (for patients older than three years old).
But please be cautious. Medications should only be used under the care of a licensed physician. Self-medication can be harmful to the patient’s health and may worsen symptoms.
Eye Allergy and Eyesight
Although it is irritating and may affect your vision during the time of the reaction, an eye allergy should not cause permanent damage to your eye. Once the condition is treated your eyesight will return back to normal.