Matthew 6:22 said and I quote: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light."
So, we must do everything medically sound to protect our eyes from harm’s way which is why we are going to be looking at eye allergies today.
What are eye allergies?
Eye allergy is a common condition and it occurs when the eyes identifies harmless substances as dangerous. The resultant effect is red, itchy, warm and inflamed eyes due to the surplus supply of blood to the affected area.
The substances which cause these conditions are called allergens and the most affected part of the eye is the transparent covering over the white part of the eyes called the conjunctiva.
Here is what an eye allergy looks like
Common causes of eye allergies
- Dust mites
- Grass and ragweed
- Animal skin and secretions such as saliva
- Perfumes and Cosmetics
- Skin medicines
- Pollens from trees
- Air pollution
Outdoor and indoor allergies
The most common outdoor airborne allergens are grass, tree and weed pollens. People who are sensitive to these allergens suffer from seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, the most common type of eye allergy.
Pet hair or dander, dust mites and molds are the most common indoor allergens. These indoor allergens can trigger symptoms for some people throughout the year, resulting in perennial allergic conjunctivitis.
Symptoms usually appear quickly, soon after the eyes come in contact with the allergen and it could be mild, moderate or severe, depending on your sensitivity level.
- Itching can occur even if the eyes are white
- Other common symptom occurs when the small blood vessels widen and the eyes become pink or red.
- Some people experience pain in one or both eyes
- One could also feel like there’s something in his eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Burning sensation
- Sore or tender eyes
How to identify your eye allergies
If you frequently experience these symptoms, then try to consciously observe your immediate environment. For example, when do the symptoms begin? is it;
- When you get back home from the office?
- When you are around a pet?
- When you put on your makeup?
- Do you generally feel better around areas that aren’t rugged?
- Or when you are in a highly vegetative environment?
Try to observe these things, and you could tell the real cause of your own eye allergic reactions.
How to manage eye allergies
The first approach to managing your eye allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens that trigger your symptoms. However, this isn’t always possible.
Some of these allergens are tiny substances that you can only see with the aid of a microscope e.g. pollen grains and dust particles and it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to keep oneself from being exposed to them.This is when eye drops might be helpful but please don’t indulge in self medication.
If you are in the league of those who take Visine eye drops to inhibit the symptoms of allergy, or to whiten your eyes, you are creating more problems for yourself.
Visine eye drops contain potassium chloride and tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride which constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the eyes. This temporarily fixes allergic symptoms but prolonged usage will starve the eyes from much needed nutrients from the blood and can cause a real, more serious inflammation than the allergy itself.
Always check with your optometrist for the best treatment. He alone would give recommend the best antihistamines- drugs for treating allergy symptoms.
Can eye allergies harm your eyesight?
Eye allergies could make you uncomfortable and less productive but cannot harm your eyes. However, constant rubbing of the eyes due to itching can introduce some disease agents like bacteria which in turn can lead to bacterial infections which can be harmful to the eyes.
If you have any problem with your eye or something affecting your vision, go to your eye doctor. Please do not in any way self medicate.
This information is open for questions and comments.