April Showers Bring Eye Allergy Flare-Ups

eye allergiesApril in Cleveland is usually the time when our ophthalmologists start to see an influx of patients with eye allergies.

Because eyes have a sticky and moist surface, it makes them especially prone to environmental irritants such as pollen, mold and grasses. In fact, millions of Americans suffer from eye allergies every year, and the majority of those people experience tell-tale eye allergy symptoms like red eyes, dry eyes, itchy eyes and watery eyes as a result of seasonal allergies.

There are Four Primary Types of Eye Allergies:

  1. Allergic Conjunctivitis – The most common kind of eye allergy that typically occurs in the spring, summer and fall.
  2. Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis – This is an ongoing allergic eye disease with symptoms that tend to worsen seasonally.
  3. Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis – This eye allergy has the same symptoms as Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis, but it most frequently affects older men who also have allergic dermatitis.
  4. Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis – This type of eye allergy affects patients who wear contact lenses.

Eye allergy symptoms can mimic the symptoms of an eye infection. So if you think you may have eye allergies, it’s important that you schedule an eye exam with an eye care professional as soon as possible. Eye specialists perform a microscopic examination to accurately diagnose whether an eye problem as an infection or an allergy. Once diagnosed, eye allergies can usually be managed and treated through prescribed medication and eye drops.