Eye allergies are a common cause of inflammation and redness in and around the eyes. Symptoms include red, itchy, and watery eyes. Puffiness of the conjunctiva, or clear covering of the eye and eyelids may also occur. Due to the high amount of environmental allergens present in the Austin area such as Cedar and mold, eye allergies can be a debilitating condition for Austin area residents. People with sinus allergies or concurrent dry eye are more prone to eye allergy symptoms. Contact lens wearers can have an exceptionally difficult time wearing contact lenses comfortably when eye allergies are active.
Eye allergies can be short lived and caused by physical contact with an offending allergen. They can also be seasonal and associated with an airborne allergen such as cedar, pollens, or molds. In contact lens wearers, an allergy known as papillary conjunctivitis can occur. This is an allergic response to proteins that build up on contact lenses when they are not cleaned properly or worn overnight. Symptoms of eye allergies can be greatly improved or eliminated if properly treated.
There are many effective treatment options for eye allergies. For mild cases of eye allergy, over the counter anti-allergy drops can provide substantial relief and improve symptoms. When the dry eye is concurrent with dry eye, treating the dry eye syndrome with lubricant drops, omega 3 supplementation, and prescription therapy can help alleviate allergy symptoms. When eye allergies are severe, prescription anti-allergy or steroid eyedrops can be used. For contact lens wearers that suffer from eye allergies, discontinuing contact lens wear and wearing eyeglasses along with treating the allergy is most effective. If contact lenses must be worn, switching to daily disposable lenses or using hydrogen-peroxide based cleaning systems can also improve contact lens comfort and decrease symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of eye allergies, please let us know at your next appointment so that Dr. Provost can prescribe a treatment plan to eliminate your allergy symptoms.