Eye Allergies: Diagnosis & Treatment
Eye allergies affect millions of people every year with a long list of symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itching, swollen eyelids, and more. These symptoms can make everyday activities very difficult, or even impossible, and the worst cases can lead to infection if they are not properly treated. At the Reeve-Woods Eye Center in Chico, our optometry experts specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of eye allergies.
Causes of Eye Allergies
Allergies are caused when the body overreacts to a substance that it perceives as a threat. When an allergic reaction is triggered, the immune system goes on high alert, creating anti-bodies, releasing histamine and other immune substances. Allergies can be difficult to differentiate from an actual infection since the response to an infection is similar to an allergic reaction. Often, people will let infections go untreated as they assume it is just an allergic attack.
Diagnosing Eye Allergies
It is important that any reaction in the eye be examined and treated since infection can lead to damage and loss of vision. Your optometrist has a number of specialized methods of diagnosing eye allergies. Often times, your eye doctor will be able to tell the difference between an eye infection and an eye allergy by the symptoms alone. However, when necessary, your optometrist will perform a standard eye exam. This requires a slip lamp microscope to check for swelling and dilated blood vessels. Once your eye care professional has determined that you are suffering from allergies, rather than an infection, the appropriate treatments can then be administered.
Treating Eye Allergies
The treatment used for your eye allergies will depend on the severity of the symptoms. Once we have determined what is triggering your allergies, we can make recommendations to help you avoid the trigger mechanisms. Recommendations such as avoiding the outdoors during allergy season and for those who suffer from indoor allergies, air purifiers will be a common recommendation.
Artificial tears can be an effective way of dealing with itchy and watery eyes. For persistent cases, as well as for people who cannot avoid their allergic triggers due to work or practical reasons, drops and ointments can be used effectively to obtain relief. Over the counter antihistamines are also available for those with moderate to severe allergies.
Eye Allergy Relief in Chico
Your eye doctor at Reeve-Woods Eye Center in Chico will work closely with you to determine your allergic triggers and deliver an effective treatment regimen. To learn more, and to schedule your initial consultation with an optometry expert, call us today. We look forward to helping you.