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5 Things You May Not Know About Eye Allergies

Red eyes

As we move into fall, here in the Coachella Valley, allergies are common. Allergic reactions hit most of us in different ways, but most have experienced itchy, watery eyes at some time.

Pet allergies, ragweed, pollen dust and sand can cause symptoms that affect the head. Your throat may be dry and scratchy, your nose gets runny or stuffy and your eyes start itching and watering and sometimes puff up. Millions of Americans suffer from allergies regularly.  Below are five facts about you “allergic eyes”.

  • Allergies and Your Immune System

Eye allergies, as with all allergies, occur when your immune system overreacts to allergens that you come into contact with. Grass, weeds, pets, sand and mold can become airborne and hit your eyes.  Once this happens, our eyes react defensively and release a chemical known as “histamine”. When this happens, the blood vessels swell causing puffy, itchy, watery eyes.

  • Non-Allergic Symptoms 

Once and a while, non-allergic substances can cause allergy like reactions in your eyes or even make things worse is you are already suffering from an allergic reaction.  Cigarette smoke can be a big one.  Certain cosmetics can also irritate the eyes as can diesel exhaust in the air, from traffic.

  • Your Eyesight Should Be Fine

Even though you may rub your eyes a lot when you’re having allergy issues, you most likely aren’t doing any damage to your eyesight.  Even so, you should try to take it easy on your eyes.  Your eyes are sensitive and shouldn’t be man handled.

  • It’s More Common Than you May Think

If you suffer from Eye Allergies, dont’ worry, you’re not the only one. Ocular allergies or allergic conjunctivitis, as it is also known, are more common than you may realize.  Studies have shown that one in every five Americans suffers from some sort of eye-related allergy.

  • There Are Two Types Of Allergies

If you suffer from eye allergies, odds are good that they are worse at certain times of the year. Thing that are constant in your life like pet dander, dust mites, feather in bedding, etc. are most likely the cause of your allergies. These are allergens that will affect you to some degree all year long.

Then, there are seasonal allergies. These occur at certain times of the year when specific plants and weeds grow that aggravate your particular allergy. This is typically spring through fall for most allergy sufferers.  Not only are more plants, grasses and weeds growing, but you’re outside more and vulnerable to exposure.

So there are the five things you may not know about eye allergies.  If you have any issues or just questions regarding your eyes and allergies, give Milauskas Eye Institute a call at (760) 340-3937 and we’ll be happy to help.

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