Allergies & Eye Health
If you have seasonal or ongoing allergies in Rapid City, you are probably no stranger to itchy, watery, red, irritated eyes. Allergies are the result of your immune system reacting to the “invader” by producing chemicals such as histamine to fight off the allergen. The body’s response can cause inflammation and the very annoying symptoms of ocular allergies or allergic conjunctivitis.
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
- Burning sensation
- Swollen eyelids
- Constant eye watering
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
Potential Risks of Eye Allergies
While allergies don’t typically cause any long-term damage to the eyes, there are some situations that could potentially cause serious problems:
- If you wear contact lenses, allergen particles can get under your contacts, leading to a scratched cornea.
- Rubbing your irritated eyes may cause microabrasions (tiny tears) in the outer layer of your eye due to the fine allergen particles landing on your cornea.
- Allergies can worsen existing dry eye, leading to pain and irritation.
Common Eye Allergy Triggers
- Pollen (grass, tree, weed)
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
Eye discomfort can also be caused by environmental triggers such as smoke, dust, perfume, air pollution, etc.
Treating Ocular Allergy Symptoms
If you are experiencing eye irritations due to allergies, contact us to schedule an eye exam. Our doctors can assess your eye health, ask you to describe your symptoms and make recommendations for relief. Prescription medications may be necessary or over-the-counter options may suffice. There may even be some underlying eye health issues that are causing the irritations.
Ways to Prevent Eye Allergies
- Stay indoors during allergy season
- Wash your hands after touching animals
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors
- Purchase bedding that resists dust mites
- Keep your home clean
- Install a HEPA filter for your air conditioner
- Mitigate mold in your home