Ocular allergies are a major source of discomfort and annoyance. If you have suffered from ocular allergies, you may dread those red, itchy, watery eyes that occur as the seasons change, or when you visit a friend who has pets in their house. In extreme cases, you may even have to curtail outdoor or other social activities and lose time from school or work.
If ocular allergies have affected you or someone you know, please either read more about them below or make an appointment to discuss your concerns with us.
What are Ocular Allergies?
Ocular allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, affect approximately 20% of the U.S. population. They occur when something you are allergic to (e.g. pollen or pet dander) irritates the conjunctiva, or the delicate membrane covering the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Symptoms include redness in the white of your eye or inner eyelid, itching, tearing, blurred vision, a burning sensation, swollen eyelids, and sensitivity to light.
Because OTC (over the counter) medications exist, many patients don’t report these problems to their eye doctor. However, these medications frequently leave a lot to be desired. Common problems include the side effects of stinging, burning, and increased ocular redness. Patients unhappy with OTC products are often unaware that there are more effective, longer-acting, better-tolerated prescription products available.
How We Can Help
The first step in providing relief to the allergy patient lies in obtaining a careful history: identifying when symptoms occur, how frequently they occur, and how long they last – even in the off-season. Because the allergic reaction usually dissipates after a short period of time, allergy sufferers may not remember to discuss these problems with their eye doctor.
If you need help with this problem (or know someone who needs our assistance), make sure you ask us at your next visit.