If your eyes are itchy, red, burning and watery, you may have a condition known as allergy eyes, or allergic conjunctivitis.
It’s a common condition and often accompanies sneezing and sniffling, although the symptoms often mimic other eye conditions, so a visit to an ophthalmologist for a proper diagnosis is important.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology triggers can include outdoor allergens, such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds, indoor allergens like pet dander, dust mites and mold, and irritants like cigarette smoke, perfume and diesel exhaust.
Allergy eyes can be managed in several ways, adds ACAAI. Keep windows closed when the pollen count is high and use air conditioning in your home and car. Wear glasses or sunglasses outside to keep pollen out of your eyes. Use mite-proof bedding to limit exposure to dust mites, and a dehumidifier to control mold. Wash your hands after petting any animal.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises washing your bedding frequently with hot water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and when cleaning floors, use a damp mop or rag instead of a dry dust mop or broom to trap the allergens.
If your allergy eyes are brought on by your pet, try to keep animals outside as much as possible, and keep them outside your bedroom. Choose hard flooring instead of carpeting, which holds pet dander, and wash your hands after touching your pet. Additionally, wash your clothing after being near your pet, and avoid rubbing your eyes, says AAO.
There are a number of treatments available for allergy eyes, including artificial tears, decongestants, oral antihistamines, antihistamines with mast-cell stabilizers, corticosteroids and immunotherapy shots.
Always consult your ophthalmologist to determine the best treatment.
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