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Allergic eye conditions, also often referred to as allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergies, are common eye conditions. If you are sensitive to a certain substance, such as pollen or dust, it can cause allergy eye symptoms.
An allergen is a substance, which although usually harmless, the body identifies it as harmful. As a result, a chemical reaction occurs, which can cause allergy symptoms. If the allergen irritates the conjunctiva, which is the membrane covering the inside of the eyelid and the eye, symptoms can develop.
Common causes of allergic eye conditions include mold spores and pollen. Pet dander and dust are common indoor allergens, which may cause allergy eye symptoms. Some people are also allergic to chemicals in makeup or facial creams. In order to determine exactly what is causing an eye allergy, it is best to see an allergist.
Symptoms of an allergic eye condition usually start quickly after exospore to the allergen. Symptoms may include itchy and watering eyes. The eyes may also become swollen, red and sore or burn. Some people also develop sensitivity to light. The condition is annoying but does not cause any vision changes or damage. It can be easy to confuse allergic conjunctivitis with other types of conjunctivitis, such as bacterial or viral. But allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
Treatment for allergic eye conditions starts with a trip to the allergy doctor to determine the allergen. If possible, avoiding the irritating substance may be enough to decrease symptoms. But in some cases, it may be impossible to eliminate the allergen. Medications, such as antihistamines may be recommended. Eye drops or artificial tears may help reduce dryness and irritation. Steroid eye drops may also be used to decrease inflammation. In some instances, your allergist may recommend allergy shots to help you become immune to the allergen.
Certain serious allergic eye conditions, such as infections, may have similar symptoms, so it is important allergic eye conditions are properly diagnosed. Call Dr. Boyan Hadjiev, one of New York City’s best allergists to find the right treatment.