Fall Allergies Are Here!
Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva (the white part of the eye) becomes irritated or swollen due to an allergy, such as mold, dust, pet dander, or pollen. As fall season approaches, we start to see an increase in systemic allergies and allergic conjunctivitis because many of us are allergic to fall weeds. Typical symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include redness, itching, and watering eyes. When our eyes are exposed to anything we are allergic to, histamine is released and the blood vessels in the conjunctiva become swollen. Pollen tends to stay in the air heavily on warm, windy, dry days and can increase our chances of developing allergic symptoms. However, on cool, rainy days, the pollen is washed to the ground and we are less symptomatic. Allergic conjunctivitis can be diagnosed by an eye doctor based on history, duration of symptoms and appearance of the eyes on examination.
Usually, small bumps are seen on the inside of the eyelids and or the conjunctiva. There are many treatments available for allergic conjunctivitis that include over the counter artificial tears for mild cases, antihistamine eye drops or oral antihistamines for moderate cases and cortisone eye drops for severe cases. Over the last several years many new antihistamines eye drops have been developed that give quick relief and also help prevent further allergic flare-ups. Unfortunately, on days when pollen counts are high and we can visibly see pollen in the air, it is very difficult to avoid contact. Using air filtration systems and keeping windows closed at home and in the car can help reduce allergens as much as possible. If you or anyone you know is suffering from allergies, call today to make an appointment with one of our Board-Certified Ophthalmologists at Eye Center South to determine your best treatment options. Eye Center South, Dothan, AL, Panama City, FL, Destin, FL, Albany, GA and Andalusia, AL. Call 1-800-NEW-EYES to be seen this week.