Allergic Conjunctivitis

Are your red, itchy eyes driving you crazy?
Each spring and fall, many people commonly suffer from seasonal allergies. In addition to the annoyance of a runny or stuffy nose and sneezing, eyes are commonly affected. While termed “allergic conjunctivitis”, this condition is not contagious.  

Perhaps you are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis: redness, gritty or itchy felling in the eyes, tearing or discharge, light sensitivity. This can be especially troublesome for contact lens wearers, making it nearly impossible to keep contact lenses deposit-free and comfortable.

What causes this type of reaction? Tiny airborne particles from grasses, trees and molds trigger the release of histamines from cells on the eye’s surface. In fact, while rubbing eyes may bring a temporary sense of relief, the mechanical action actually causes the release of more histamine, thus worsening the signs and symptoms and leading to a frustrating cycle of continued itching, rubbing and more irritation.

While avoidance of irritants is #1 in prevention, when this is not possible, here is what you can do to help:
• Keep hands clean and away from the eyes
• Apply cool compresses to the affected eye(s)
• Use artificial tear drops, moisture drops or lubricants often to keep these particles out of the eyes
• Replace contact lenses more often. If you wear a conventional contact lens, speak to your doctor about switching to a weekly or 1-day lens during allergy season
• See your doctor! We can check the severity of the allergic conjunctivitis and make recommendations for specifically formulated prescription and non-prescription eye drops to make you more comfortable. Why suffer day after day with red, itchy eyes? Prompt treatment will bring relief in no time!