Allergic Eye Disease

Millions of Americans of all ages suffer from eye allergies. There are eye allergies to the environment, such as hay fever, pollens, grasses, etc. There are also specific eye allergies to certain chemicals.

Since the eyes are exposed to the environment, and have a “sticky surface” because they are moist, they are prone to irritants. The tear film in eyes helps wash away these irritants. However, in some people, even brief exposure to an allergen (anything that causes allergy symptoms) will cause symptoms.

Medications for Eye Allergies

There are new classes of medications available, so that ineffective or more dangerous medications are no longer needed. The new medicines work to stabilize the ocular surface which otherwise will release histamine and similar chemicals. The chemicals cause itchy eyes, stinging in the eyes, red eyes, and additional tearing. Similarly, simple mechanical rubbing of the eye can cause release of these chemicals and chemical stimulants. This is why eye itching is rarely relieved for long by eye rubbing.

Allergic Eye Disease Treatments

Treatment for allergic eye disease rarely includes allergy scratch testing or searches for specific allergens. Severe cases might require this, and might actually require special air filters in the home and other environments.

Usually, prescription drops work short- and long-term and may be used as little as one or twice a day, and are administered for periods lasting weeks to months. Some patients use the drops all year round; some will just use them from the spring through the fall.

Anti-allergy prescription eye drops have allowed some patients to actually enjoy mowing their lawn for the first time in decades. However, allergic eye disease requires diagnosis and management and prescription treatment by an eye care professional. Distinguishing this condition from infection, dry eye, and other more complicated conditions requires a proper in-office microscopic examination (the use of the slit lamp biomicroscope).

Contact us today to learn how to prevent and treat Itchy eyes caused by Allergic Eye Disease.