An allergy occurs when the immune system over-reacts to an allergen. An allergic response can be triggered by a change in environments, seasons or exposure to something new. Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergic disease, and the number is increasing.
Charlotte, NC consistently ranks in the top 30 worst cities for allergies. Newcomers to Charlotte may experience allergies for the first time. Due to our rather warm winters, I see patients that have year-round allergies vs. just spring or fall.
Allergy Eye Symptoms & Signs
Common symptoms of allergy eyes include: watery eyes, red eyes, itchy and/or burning eyes. In extreme cases, the lids and conjunctiva can swell. It is possible to have allergies in your eyes and not have systemic allergies.
Allergy Eye Treatments
First line of treatment is removing the offending agent and treat the eye with cool compresses. Changing makeup, lotions, and fabric softeners can lead to eye allergies.
Over the counter drops such as Clear-eyes for allergies or Visine-allergy are not the most effective treatment for allergies, and should not be used. In fact, frequent use of these medications can lead to a dilated pupil and a rebound eye redness.
Taking oral medications such as Benadryl or Zyrtec can be helpful in relieving symptoms, but can also lead to extreme dry eye in contact lens wearers. Topical allergy drops can be just as effective as oral meds, but without the systemic side effects. I prefer to treat my patients topically if possible.
If the allergy is from an outside source which can't be eliminated such as pollen or an animal allergy, a prescription for a topical allergy medication and/or topical steroid will be the most effective.
Pataday, Patanol, Pazeo, Bepreve, and Lastacaft are considered the best in allergy medications by eye doctors. Pataday and Patanol will become over-the-counter in March 2020.
Lastly, for those with extreme allergic reactions, topical steroids make the eye look and feel better in hours!
A proper allergy evaluation by an eye doctor will insure your eyes are treated quickly and efficiently.
Dr. Courtney Dryer and the staff of Autarchic Spec Shop specialize in the prescription glasses, contact lenses and more for you and your family. Call our eye doctor in Charlotte, NC today at 704.208.4548 or schedule an appointment online for an Allergy eye evaluation. Our eye exams and optometrist provide the highest quality eye services amongst eye doctors in the Charlotte North Carolina area.