Allergy and sinus problems are incredibly common in the United States. Seasonal allergies affect roughly 10 percent of all adults, and many people develop one-time allergic reactions due to triggers in the environment over the course of their lives. Allergic reactions can affect many parts of the body, including the respiratory system and the skin. One common type of reaction is allergic conjunctivitis or inflammation of the eyes due to allergies. If you suffer from this annoying and uncomfortable condition, you'll find a variety of eye care products available to help you manage your symptoms here at drugstore.com. Be sure to ask your eye doctor which products are appropriate for you. read more about allergy eye care »
Eye allergies are triggered by an immune system response in which your body mistakes a substance in the environment for a threat. To help defend your eyes, your immune system produces antibodies, which trigger the release of a chemical known as histamine. When histamine enters the eyes, it causes inflammation. As a result, the eyes may become red, and the skin around them may appear swollen. You may also experience a watery discharge, a sensation of itching or burning during an allergic reaction of the eyes.
Antihistamines for the Eyes
When a flare-up of allergic conjunctivitis has occurred, you can alleviate the symptoms of the condition with antihistamines. These medications block the activities of the chemical histamine or reduce how much of it is released. This allows the inflammation in the eyes to subside and provides relief from symptoms.
Eye allergies can be managed with oral allergy and sinus formulas that contain an antihistamine; however, these products take time to produce results. Because the symptoms of eye allergies can make it difficult to function at one's best, many sufferers prefer to use antihistamine eye drops, which deliver the medicine right to the eyes for faster relief. It's important to note that using antihistamine eye drops too frequently can actually worsen inflammation, so it is not advisable to use the drops more often than the manufacturer recommends.
Self-Care for Eye Allergies
If eye allergies are a common problem for you, taking steps to protect your eyes can help to reduce the likelihood of reactions. Eye care for allergy sufferers can include the use of saline or saltwater eye drops. When you come in contact with a known allergen or have spent time outdoors, flushing your eyes with these rewetting or lubricating drops may help to ward off a reaction. Wearing sunglasses or a hat with a brim when you are outside can also reduce the amount of pollen and other allergens that come in contact with your eyes.
The symptoms of eye allergies can be caused by infections of the eyes that require antibiotics or other medicinal interventions from a doctor. Because of this, you should always check with a physician before using over-the-counter medicine and health products to address problems with watery, itchy or red eyes. Your doctor can help you determine if your symptoms are caused by allergies and can recommend the best type of eye care product to help you get relief.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.