Do your eyes ever become red, swollen and itchy, perhaps accompanied by a runny nose? If so, you're probably experiencing eye allergies. Eye allergies are extremely common in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
According to Dr. Neal, about 30 to 50 percent of Americans have allergy symptoms, and about three of every four allergy sufferers have eye symptoms.
When an allergic reaction takes place, your eyes overreact to a substance (called an allergen) perceived as harmful, even though it may not be. For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause problems for allergic individuals.
Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Some people are allergic to the preservatives in eye drops such as those used to lubricate dry eyes.
You can reduce your risk of eye allergies by reducing your exposure to common allergens.
1. Keep your home free of dust and pet dander, and keep pets off the furniture.
2. Stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. Use efficient furnace filters that trap most allergens, and replace them frequently.
3. When outdoors, wear wrap-style sunglasses to help shield your eyes from pollen and other airborne allergens, and drive with your windows closed.
4. If you think you are allergic to eye drops, replace them with a preservative-free brand.
5. If you wear contact lenses, switch to daily disposable contacts. Because you discard these lenses after each use, they won't accumulate deposits that can worsen allergy-related eye discomfort.
If these measures are ineffective, we can recommend over-the-counter remedies or prescribe allergy medication to help relieve your symptoms. Schedule an appointment online or call (570) 226-1300.