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What Causes Eye Allergies and How Can it be Treated?

Allergies are some of the most common maladies that affect eyes causing itchy, watery, and red eyes. In some cases, they can even cause swollen eyelids and blurry vision. Learn from our optometrist the causes of eye allergies and how we can help.

Woman with eye allergies needs to see an eye doctor in Burlington.

Causes of Eye Allergies

  • Most commonly, eye allergies are associated with "allergy seasons." These are seasons that are marked with higher levels of pollen such as from plants or weather that promotes the release of mold spores. In most areas, spring and fall are the worst offenders.
  • The immediate environment also can cause eye allergies. If you live or work in a dusty environment, the dust can set them off. Rooms or buildings with plenty of dust mites can also be problematic. If you have pets, their dander can accumulate and cause allergies, as well.
  • Sometimes, you may become allergic to a substance that never bothered you before. This is called sensitization and often happens after an extreme exposure to a formerly-innocuous substance. It can also happen slowly and show up after years of exposure.
  • Not everything that is attributed to "allergies" is actually causing an allergic reaction. These are more technically known as irritants but produce similar symptoms. Examples include cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke; perfumes; and other strong scents.

How an Eye Doctor Can Help

Your eye doctor in Burlington typically starts by advising the use of eye drops. These help to wash allergens out of the eye and reduce the irritation. If over-the-counter drops don't provide enough relief, he can prescribe a number of varieties of stronger drops.

One type of special eye drop contains antihistamines. While these can provide fast, strong relief, they shouldn't be used longer than a week. Otherwise, they can make the problem worse. A Burlington eye doctor may prescribe them at the start of a course of a different kind of drops. This will let the eyes recover well enough for the new type of drops to work.

Our eye doctor may also give you tips to lessen your level of exposure to allergens, such as closing the windows on high-pollen days or using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to control the level of pet dander in your home. He may also suggest wearing sunglasses to help keep pollen and dust out of your eyes when you're outside and a number of other suggestions may apply, as well.

Contact Us Today

If you have eye allergies that haven't responded to over-the-counter treatments, come to see our Burlington optometrist here at Chroma Optics. She will make sure that you have the treatment you need to get relief.