Allergies Have On Your Eyes (and your life)
Read time: 4 min
If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, you know all too well that allergy symptoms can show up to ruin your day any time of the year. Symptoms range from sneezing and a scratchy throat to itchy, irritated, red and watery eyes. Boo-hoo.
It’s estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in one form or another. But just because seasonal allergies are common doesn’t mean you have to live with them. And we certainly don’t want you to cry about them!
At Mann Eye Institute, we are so passionate about helping people with their allergy issues that we established an Ocular Surface Treatment Center dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of eye issues resulting from allergies and dry eye.
In the past, drops were the go-to treatment for patients who complained of allergy issues affecting their eyes. But with increased understanding of ocular surface disease, Mann Eye eye doctors are now able to get to the root of the problem in a way that they couldn’t just a few short years ago.
Our ocular specialists perform allergen skin testing to pinpoint what allergens are triggering inflammation and whether allergies are truly the cause of your complaints. This test does not involve blood or needles. We use a non-invasive, skin contact approach that tests 58 of the most common local antigens along with a histamine control.
The whole thing takes less than 20 minutes and is performed under the supervision of one of our board-certified ophthalmologists. It is covered by major medical insurance and you will have your results before you leave! Once we identify what you are allergic to, we can create custom treatments specific to your needs.
Allergy Eyes vs. Chronic Dry Eye
Remember earlier when we said we are committed to getting to the root of your allergy problem? That’s because allergy eyes is a very different condition than Chronic Dry Eye and the treatments are different, too.
Treatment for allergy eyes can include using antihistamine (to prevent the release of histamine), eye drops, cool compresses and avoidance of the allergen (if possible).
Chronic Dry Eye is a unique condition with its own causes, symptoms and treatments. Symptoms can range from light sensitivity to inadequate tear production. And, if your eyes have that red, itchy, scratchy feeling and your Mann Eye Institute doctor has ruled out allergies, then you likely suffer from Chronic Dry Eye.
Let’s talk about it.
There are three main causes of dry eye; increased tears, decreased tears and imbalanced tears. Each comes with its own set of causes and characteristics. But the good news is that, no matter what kind of dry eye you have, we have a solution!
No doubt, dry eye is a pain! If left untreated, dry eye can cause several side effects, from irritated and red eyes to more severe corneal infections that can affect your quality of life. At our Ocular Surface Treatment Center, we can thoroughly analyze your tear components to confirm your diagnosis. Upon assessing what is causing your dry eyes, we recommend a customized treatment plan.
One choice is the LipiFlow System, which attacks the root cause of the most common form of dry eye. LipiFlow acts as a gentle heated massage to unclog the glands found on the rim of your eyelid. When they’re free and clear, they’re able to function properly to keep more tears on your eye’s surface. It’s non-invasive and performed in-office, taking only minutes to complete for each eye.
Allergies and Contacts: NOT a Match Made in Heaven
We would be remiss in covering the topic of allergies as it relates to eyes without addressing the frustration of dealing with allergies if you wear contact lenses.
Ugh. And just…ugh.
Itchy, watery, irritated eyes and contacts do not go well together. Since about 75 percent of allergy symptoms directly affect the eyes, allergies can be especially hard on contact lens wearers. There are even instances where contact lenses can make symptoms worse!
Sure, you can switch to daily disposables, use eye drops, avoid rubbing your eyes and even give your eyes a break by removing the contacts and wearing your glasses more often. But these are temporary fixes to an ongoing issue.
The solution? NO contacts.
No, we don’t mean to go back to wearing your glasses full-time. We mean LASIK! Here at Mann Eye Institute, we’ve performed hundreds of thousands of successful LASIK procedures over the years. That means lots and lots of contact lens wearers no longer have to deal with the frustrations and hassles of contact lens use; especially as it relates to allergies.
Don’t let allergies, dry eye issues or contact lenses keep you from enjoying the things you love. If you’re ready to See Life Better, we’re ready to help.