How Your Optometrist Can Help Relieve Symptoms of Eye Allergies
Eye allergies and their symptoms can be bothersome, and without proper care, some symptoms can increase the likelihood of corneal damage and other more serious problems. As a leading eye doctor near Boston, optometrist Dr. Patricia Fox helps patients at Eyes Over Copley relieve eye allergies with patient-centered treatment plans focused on their symptoms, their lifestyles and their unique needs for long-term relief and improved eye health.
What are eye allergies?
Eye allergies include an array of symptoms that develop in response to specific exposures or allergens like dust, mold, smoke, fumes, pollen, perfumes, shampoos and cosmetics. Eye allergy symptoms include:
- eye redness
- itchy eyes
- burning eyes
- foreign-body sensation (the feeling that something is “sticking in” the eye
- blurry vision
- watery eyes or excessive tearing
- sensitivity to bright lights
- stringy mucus discharge from the eyes
Eye allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they may be accompanied by other allergy symptoms like itchy throat, wheezing, runny nose, sneezing or coughing. Eye-related symptoms can be worse in people who wear contact lenses, and many contact wearers may find their lenses are very uncomfortable during “flare-ups” of allergic symptoms.
What can an eye doctor do to relieve eye allergy symptoms?
Treatment of eye allergies begins with an eye exam to assess the symptoms and to confirm their cause. Some other conditions like dry eye or infections can cause similar symptoms, and an eye exam can help determine the precise cause of symptoms so treatment can be tailored to your specific needs. Once the eye exam is complete, the eye doctor may prescribe eye drops to help relieve symptoms and soothe the eye while also protecting the cornea from damage that can occur when itchy, burning eyes are rubbed repeatedly. In some cases, other allergy medications like antihistamines may be prescribed to help control symptoms. Ideally, patients should try to avoid the allergen that causes symptoms; for instance, changing shampoos or soaps or avoiding smoky environments may help some patients prevent allergy symptoms from developing. Patients who wear contact lenses may need to switch to glasses until the allergic symptoms resolve to prevent excessive irritation to the cornea or other eye structures.
Can I treat itchy eyes or watery eyes with over-the-counter eye drops?
If you have watery eyes or itchy eyes, it may be tempting to try to relieve those symptoms with eye drops from the drugstore, but actually, you could be making your condition worse. First, it’s important to see your eye doctor to ensure your symptoms are not caused by an underlying condition like an infection. Without an eye exam, eye drops that relieve itching could enable an underlying infection or other condition to become much worse. And second, repeated use of over-the-counter drops can actually make eye allergy symptoms worse. Your eye doctor can prescribe special drops specifically for eye allergy treatment.
Schedule An Appointment with Our Eye Doctor in Boston Today!
As a top-rated eye doctor in Boston, Dr. Fox is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of eye allergies, helping patients of all ages relieve itching, burning and other symptoms while preventing recurrence and optimizing eye health. If you have eye allergies or you’re experiencing itching, burning or other symptoms, call Eyes Over Copley at (617) 859-0630 and schedule your exam today.