Lets talk about allergies in the eyes. Your symptoms ARE very important to me. Are you itchy inside the eye, or on your lids, do you have swelling, is it one eye or both eyes, did it come suddenly, or has it been there for a while, those are all clues for proper treatment plans. Is there a family history? Did you just move to Arizona, or are you a snowbird, are your symptoms different in your home state? Do you wear contacts, are they uncomfortable, do they move every time you blink, are they only uncomfortable at certain times of the year? I tell you, as annoying it is to fill out all your symptoms on these long, extended questionere is tedious, but crucial to me as your provider.
I will go through the short version of the process of what happens during an allergic reaction: We are exposed to an allergen, our immune system produces immunoglobulins and therefore our bodies then release chemical mediators that create the symptoms of allergy: inflammation, redness, swollen eyes, itching, stringy discharge and ultimately a very uncomfortable experience…my eyes are watering just thinking about it.
So, if you are experiencing those symptoms make sure to seek treatment because there is help here. This is not a routine eye exam, this is a medical evaluation by your optometrist focused on your medical symptoms. Of course if you need a routine eye exam for new glasses or contacts, I would recommend coming in and doing your focused, medical eye evaluation, treatment plan, and then after that you can reschedule for your routine vision eye exam when your eyes are feeling good and fresh and healthy to get a great evaluation for your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
Meanwhile, till you come in to see us or your personal optometrist, here are tips by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to prevent eye allergies:
- Don’t touch or rub the eyes
- Wash hands often with soap and water
- Use a Vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent to reduce allergens
- Keep your pets out of your bedrooms
- Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to help keep pollen from getting into the eyes
- Close windows during high pollen and mold seasons.
Seek treatment there are solutions!
Stay allergy free!
Dina Hamideh O.D.
Dr. Hamideh is an Optometrist serving the Phoenix and surrounding areas.