Many people look forward to spring, but what they’re not looking forward to is the discomfort of seasonal allergies.
Why Do Eye Allergies Occur?
An eye allergy (allergic conjunctivitis) occurs when the eyes react to something that irritates them. In response, mast cells within the eye produce a substance called histamine to fight off the allergen. The eyes, eyelids, and surrounding structures then become red, swollen, and itchy, with accompanying tearing and burning.
2 Ways to Handle Seasonal Eye Allergies
Avoiding allergens whenever possible is the best recommendation. But if you can’t, there are several ways to address the eye-related symptoms that accompany your seasonal allergies.
One treatment for itchy, red eyes is over-the-counter, preservative free artificial tears. The artificial tears wash out the pollen and pollutants, but unfortunately do nothing for the allergic reaction.
Other over-the-counter medications may relieve some of the symptoms such as itching, but do not affect the allergic reaction. Additionally, many of these medications also contain preservatives which with prolonged use can actually make the symptoms worse.
Prescription eye drops
Instead of simply masking the symptoms, the best solution is to treat the underlying problem. There are a number of prescription eye drops with both an antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer which stop the allergic reaction by addressing the actual cause of the condition.