Eye Allergies

Roy Hyman, OD

Optometry located in Louisville, KY

The most common causes of eye allergies are seasonal allergies that contain irritants like pollen and mold spores. If you suffer from seasonal eye allergies or an allergic reaction to something, the experienced team at Roy Hyman, OD, in Louisville, Kentucky, can provide relief. Dr. Hyman has more than 45 years diagnosing and treating eye allergies in patients of all ages. Schedule an appointment by phone or via the convenient online booking tool.

Eye Allergies Q & A

What are the causes and symptoms of eye allergies?

Eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, occur when your immune system has an adverse response to something that irritates your eye. Common eye irritants, or allergens, include smoke, dust, and pollen. You might also have an allergic reaction to makeup, perfumes, or the ingredients in eye drops that are meant to relieve your discomfort.

Pet dander and mold can also trigger eye allergy symptoms, like:

  • Burning, itchy eyes
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness around your eyes
  • Scaling around your eyes

Sometimes an allergen affects just one eye, but other times, you experience the same symptoms in both eyes, depending on the severity of your allergic reaction.

How does an optometrist treat eye allergies?

Before Dr. Hyman treats your allergies, he determines the underlying causes. He conducts a thorough eye exam and looks for signs of eye allergies, like swollen blood vessels on the surface of your eye. Depending on whether or not your allergies are seasonal or a reaction to a specific irritant you came in contact with, and the severity of your symptoms, he may recommend any of the following treatments:

  • Oral medications like a ntihistamines and decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Artificial teardrops 
  • Corticosteroid eye drops
  • Eye drops containing olopatadine hydrochloride 
  • Avoiding known allergens
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes when you’re outside

If your allergies are severe or don’t respond well to eye drops and medications, you may need to get immunotherapy (allergy shots) to help your body become immune to the allergens that are causing your symptoms. 

How are eye allergies different from conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Eye allergies are different from conjunctivitis even though both conditions have similar symptoms. Unlike eye allergies, pink eye is the result of allergies and other factors like:

  • Chemicals
  • Contact lenses
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria 

Additionally, conjunctivitis is highly contagious between your eyes and other people’s. Eye allergies, however, are not contagious, but rather a reaction to an irritant. 

If you suffer from eye allergy symptoms each spring, or you think there are allergens in your environment that cause your eyes to feel itchy or watery, schedule an appointment for an eye exam at Roy Hyman, OD. Call the office or use the convenient online booking tool so you can get prompt relief from symptoms.