Allergy symptoms are not exclusive to sneezing; they can cause red, irritated, and swollen eyes. For most people pollen, dust, and pet dander are the most common reasons for eye allergy symptoms. It is all dependent on the particular person to know what is their trigger. Once you know what you react to, you can figure out which medication or treatment is right for you.
The body reacts in the wrong way when you have allergies. Your immune system sees pollen. dust, and dander as harmful (though they aren’t really) and to protect itself will release histamine which causes your eyes to become inflamed and swollen. Your eyes get bloodshot, teary, and itchy when the blood vessels in your eyes become inflamed.
There are several causes for your allergens and they could be caused by any of the following:
- Pollen – seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is pretty common and is caused when plants start releasing their pollen into the air in the Spring months.
- Dust – these can affect you at any time of the year and the dust can come from pet dander, dust mites, or other things indoors.
- Chemicals – some people are sensitive to chemicals found in perfumes, cosmetic products, and makeup.
- Contact Lenses – giant papillary conjunctivitis is an allergy to contact lenses and if you use them it can cause your eyes to swell, become sensitive, and red.
Once you come in contact with your trigger or allergen you will notice symptoms anywhere from immediately to 4 days after the fact. Look out for these symptoms to know if you have eye allergies:
- Runny eyes
- Itchiness or dryness
- Irritated, sore eyes
- Red, swollen eyes
These are most times accompanied by a runny nose and sneezing.
Treating Eye Allergies
Thankfully, most eye allergies are easy to deal with. Over the counter nasal sprays, eye drops, and antihistamine pills can work wonders on your symptoms and allow you to enjoy your life. Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Alavert are some of the best out there but you should be aware that some of these can cause drowsiness so if you need them for the day time, try to find non-drowsy versions.
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