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What are eye allergies?

Eye allergies, also referred to as ocular allergies or allergic conjunctivitis, are fairly common. There are two types of eye allergies: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies typically occur from spring until fall, while perennial allergies usually occur year-round. Symptoms of eye allergies vary from person to person, as well as treatment plans for relief. Learn more about eye allergies below.

What causes eye allergies?

Eye allergies occur when an allergen irritates your eye, specifically the conjunctiva, which covers a portion of the eye and inner surface of the eyelid. Triggers for seasonal eye allergies include pollen from grass, trees and weeds, while triggers for perennial allergies include dust mites, pet dander and mold.

What are the symptoms of eye allergies?

It’s important to discuss your eye allergy symptoms with an allergist. Common symptoms of eye allergies include the following:

• Red, itchy eyes
• Burning or watering eyes
• Light sensitivity
• Swollen eyelids
• Mucous production

It’s important to understand that blurred vision, double vision or pain are not typical symptoms of eye allergies. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek prompt medical attention.

How are eye allergies diagnosed?

Oftentimes, allergists can diagnose an eye allergy by reviewing your medical history. In some cases, however, allergy testing may be necessary. Testing for eye allergies can help identify what is triggering symptoms to come up with the best solution for treatment.

How are eye allergies treated?

Eye allergy treatment will depend on the cause and severity of symptoms. Individuals may find relief by controlling environmental factors. For example:

• Keep doors and windows closed
• Wash sheets and bedding often and in hot water
• Keep pets out of bedrooms
• Eliminate water leaks in your home
• Use a dehumidifier

In addition, home remedies such as applying a cold compress to the eyes, eye drops, antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids may help you find relief. If your eye allergy symptoms are severe, your allergist may recommend allergy shots.