if you have an allergy, your immune system identifies something as an invader or allergen. This reaction usually causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, intestinal tract or the eyes. The most common allergen is pollen, which is seasonal. Some people are susceptible to allergies at any time of year.
Most people suffering from eye allergies have problems in both eyes. Symptoms may appear quickly, soon after the eyes have come into contact with the allergen. The most common symptom occurs when the eyes become irritated, the small blood vessels widen and the eyes become pink or red. Some people experience pain in one or both eyes. Other symptoms include swollen eyelids, a burning sensation, and sore or tender eyes.
There are many different treatment options, depending on the severity of the symptoms. As with any allergy, the first approach to managing eye allergies should be avoiding the allergens that trigger your symptoms. However, avoiding airborne allergens isn’t always possible. That is when medications may be helpful.
Over-the-counter eye drops and oral medications are commonly used for short-term relief of some eye allergy symptoms. However, they may not relieve all symptoms, and prolonged use of some eye drops may actually make your symptoms worse.
Prescription eye drops and oral medications can also treat eye allergies. Prescription eye drops provide both short- and long-term targeted relief and can be used with an oral antihistamine for nasal allergy symptoms. Any medication placed in the eye should be kept in the refrigerator.