Monthly Archives: April 2017

Five Signs Of Eye Allergies

In the United States, statistics indicate approximately 20% of the population exhibit signs of allergies. Of this amount, about 50% have eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis, a condition that affects millions of Americans. Like a few other kinds of allergies, eye allergies rarely stand alone. They are often associated with such conditions as hay fever and dermatitis.

This may make them appear to be a seasonal problem. It can also result in confusion, as the overlapping symptoms seem to indicate a different specific health problem. On your own, you may simply treat your hay fever and ignore any signs of another allergy – one that affects your eyes.

Causes of Eye Allergies

It does not help that the causal factors for eye allergies are similar to those found in hay fever and asthma. You can also simply have irritated eyes. These may result from coming into contact with an environmental irritant. This material could be in your cosmetics or cleaning products. Other medical conditions such as pink eye can produce symptoms similar to those of eye allergies.

However, it is not bacteria or irritants per se (though some individuals are allergic to such things as cigarette smoke and diesel exhaust) that causes allergic conjunctivitis. Eye allergies result from the exposure of your eye to substances that create an inappropriate response of your autoimmune system. The material that set off your reaction tends to be such things as mold spores, pet dander or pollen.

Symptoms of Eye Allergies

If you have eye allergies, your eyes will react in any of several ways. All will affect the eye and, therefore, your ability to see clearly. The five most common signs of eye allergies are:

    1. Itching: Your eyes will itch. You will continuously want to rub them. This indicates an irritation
    2. Redness: If your eyes appear red, it is the result of an expansion of the blood vessels in the eye’s conjunctiva – hence the name allergic conjunctivitis
    3. Burning: The eyes are irritated and require relief
    4. Discharge: Eye discharge occurs if your eyes contain any excess fluid. With eye allergies, the liquid “leaking” from your eyes is clear and watery. It resembles your tears. It is not thick and opaque which would reveal you have an eye infection and not an allergic reaction
    5. Swollen eyelids: A further indication of the swelling of your eyes

If you suffer from any of these signs or symptoms, you may have an eye allergy. Before you undertake self-medication to treatment, talk to your doctor. If you do not consult a specialist, you may actually aggravate the condition rather than ease it.

Call our offices at 212-319-5282 to schedule an appointment.


What Is The Difference Between A Normal And Allergic Reaction To An Insect Bite/Sting?

Every year, 40 deaths in the United States result from insect stings. This is the result of an allergic reaction to certain insects. Overall, estimates conclude that insect allergies affect around 5% of the American population. While this is a small percentage of the total, it nonetheless is a concern. While few people do not have some sort of physical response to the actions of an insect, some do. The question is, how do you differentiate between a normal and allergic response?

The Trouble with Insects

Everyone has been bitten or stung. In our daily lives, even in urban areas, it is hard to escape. The most common suspects are the usual ones:

    • Ants – most notorious are fire ants
    • Bees – particularly honeybees
    • Wasps
    • Yellow jackets
    • Hornets

No matter who you are, your body will react to the injection of the insect’s venom. This confuses the matter. However, while many of the symptoms are similar, the extent of them may help differentiate between normal and allergic reactions.

Reactions and Insect Bites and Stings

A normal reaction tends to consist of pain and swelling. There may also be redness. However, it is usually confined to a specific area – the actual site of the bite or sting. What is also notably shorter and less severe than an allergic reaction is the duration. If you are not allergic to the insect’s venom, you will be itchy and sore briefly. The symptoms may disappear within minutes or even hours. At most, the site will be itchy for a day or two but not noticeably so.

However, allergic reactions do not adopt the same pattern. You experience redness and swelling, but the extent and duration differ substantially. It will depend upon the specific type of allergic reaction you have. It may fall into one of two categories.

  1. Non-localized: The symptoms will spread beyond the localized area. The swelling will affect the entire limb where the bite or sting occurred. The evidence of the sting will endure for days, peaking within two or three but also capable of lasting for an entire week. You may also experience hives, itchiness and flushing
  2. Systemic Allergic Reaction: This is the most severe type of insect allergy. It will require you seek medical help. You may have the hives, swelling and pain of normal or non-localized bites. However, you will also experience reactions that include:
    • Dizziness and/or a sharp decrease in blood pressure
    • A rough voice, tongue swelling and/or difficulty in swallowing
    • Abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea

What Is The Difference Between A Normal And Allergic Reaction To An Insect Bite/Sting?If not addressed immediately, you may sink into unconsciousness or go into cardiac arrest or anaphylactic shock.These symptoms and the result make allergic reactions very different from those of the average person. If you feel you are at risk, talk to your doctor and consult a specialist.

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