Eye Allergies

Eye Allergies

Eye Allergies services offered in Washington Heights, New York, NY

Eye allergies can leave your eyes swollen, red, and itchy. At Vistasite Optique in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, New York, experienced optometrist Vladimir Dvoretsky, OD, can minimize your allergy symptoms through preventive care and effective treatments. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about eye allergies and their early warning signs.

What are eye allergies?

Eye allergies inflame the tissue that lines the inside and outside of the eyeball. Called the conjunctiva, this tissue keeps your eyes moist. Eye allergies can irritate this lining, leading to uncomfortable symptoms like itching and redness. 

These reactions occur when you come in contact with allergens — substances that trigger an allergic reaction — such as pollen, mold, or pet dander.

What are the signs of eye allergies?

Eye allergies can cause severe discomfort without treatment. Common signs of eye allergies include:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Irritation
  • Grittiness
  • Inflammation
  • Burning sensation
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision

Allergies that affect the eyes often accompany other symptoms, such as sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and headaches. You may also feel tired, similar to having a cold.

Are there different types of eye allergies?

The two primary forms of eye allergies are:

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis typically occurs during spring and summer. Mold, grass, pollen, and other airborne allergens may trigger allergies during these seasons.

Perennial allergic conjunctivitis

Perennial allergic conjunctivitis happens year-round. Mold, dust, and pet dander are the most common allergens to trigger allergy symptoms.

What causes eye allergies?

An allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to a substance that is usually harmless. During this reaction, your body releases compounds called histamines to attack the allergen. As a result, your eyes become watery, red, and inflamed.

How are eye allergies diagnosed?

Your optometrist at Vistasite Optique performs a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose allergies. They may also order bloodwork and other types of allergy testing to further investigate. 

Your optometrist can coordinate with your primary care physician or allergy specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

What are the treatments for eye allergies?

Once your optometrist diagnoses your eye allergies, they can develop an individualized treatment plan that minimizes your symptoms. 

Allergen avoidance is the safest way to protect your eyes from allergy flare-ups. In addition, your optometrist may recommend:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Decongestants
  • Immunotherapy

Artificial tears may also help reduce eye irritation and redness by moisturizing the lining of your eyes.

Call Vistasite Optique or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about eye allergies.