I am one of the unfortunate 20% of the population that suffers from seasonal allergies. And when I say suffer, I mean suffer. Every spring and fall, I arm myself with Zyrtec, eye drops, and tissues to prepare for the war on my sinuses. Sometimes my eyes water so badly people ask, “Why are you crying?” It gets old pretty quickly. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is the most common ocular allergy. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, or the inside of your eye lids.
The most common and significant symptom of seasonal eye allergies is itchy eyes. Without itchy eyes, your allergies may not be allergies at all. Other symptoms may be redness, soreness, and swelling. Your eyes release histamine, which causes the itching, redness, and swelling. This should be helped with a change of environmental factors. (If only it were that easy!) If that isn’t a possibility, then antihistamines and lubricating eye drops will help with the itchiness and redness. Cool compresses are recommended to curb swelling.
So if it isn’t seasonal allergies affecting your eyes, then what is it? Most likely it is just dry eyes. Sometimes dry eyes are caused by an imbalance in the composition of tears; other people do not produce enough tears to keep eyes sustainably lubricated. Dry eyes can be remedied by using tear lubricants. These will generate natural tears and hopefully get your eyes on the right path.
This year I am armed and ready to go with antihistamines for my eyes. If your eyes persist to be uncomfortable, be sure to see your Indiana eye doctor Dr Tavel. Don’t let seasonal allergies hold you back; it is the prettiest time of the year!