Eye allergies are common, and understanding the cause behind them is important to get the relief you need. Knowing why your allergies flare up helps improve or prevent those irritating symptoms.
Eye allergy symptoms add annoying (and unnecessary!) stress that impacts daily life. Your eyes are important to you, and we understand at Eye on Health. You want to fully enjoy beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
Our dedicated and trained staff are here to serve you and your family. We pride ourselves on educating our patients because we believe knowledge is power. Today we’ll learn more about eye allergies and simple solutions to keep your eyes feeling their best!
Even though eye allergies are called allergic conjunctivitis (yeah, we know — what a word!), in the eye care world, it’s not contagious. We want to clear that up right away because it’s a frequent question at our office.
The symptoms can make it look like you have something contagious, which feels scary to you and others around you. Or maybe you’re (rightfully) concerned about an eye infection.
It’s important to have an eye exam to make sure what you’re experiencing is truly eye allergies. Other types of conjunctivitis can spread... So getting an expert opinion, from an experienced optometrist like Dr. Balocca, keeps you and your loved ones safe.
But... back to eye allergies!
Any of these symptoms are a valid reason to have an eye exam. Our optometrist wants you out enjoying Phoenix as much as you do!
Symptom severity varies for each person, but one thing is certain – they’re irritating. Uncomfortable eyes negatively impact your daily life.
You can get relief (keep reading!). But first, let’s look at the main causes of eye allergies.
Eye allergies occur when an immune response is happening in your body. It’s saying, “Hey, I’m not happy about something.” Your eyes release histamines or defenders, which cause all those horrible eye allergy symptoms. Similar to when you get a runny nose and sneeze with seasonal allergies, your surrounding environment can irritate your eyes.
While most people don’t react to these normal environmental settings, people with eye allergies suffer.
The most common culprit: Dust or dust mites. (We know, gross.) Closing windows and making sure they’re properly sealed can help.
Keeping up with dusting, vacuuming, and washing the floors in your home is one of the best ways to minimize this allergen. (Add this to the things you never thought you’d hear from an eye doctor’s office – clean more!)
Eye allergies often worsen during the Spring months from all the new pollen in the air. We’re talking grass, trees, and ragweed.
Surprisingly, wearing sunglasses can help block pollen from irritating your eyes. Here in Phoenix, it shouldn’t be a problem to grab a pair of shades before you head out the door. Our optometrist gives this tip all the time!
Severe mold leads to a variety of health issues — just a little can cause allergy problems. Sometimes you can smell musty odors pointing toward a moisture issue. Make sure your home doesn’t contain mold by working with professionals in that field.
If your air quality is safe but a little humid, a dehumidifier can help relieve eye allergy symptoms.
Pets are part of the family, and we totally get it. But they can be a source for your eye allergy symptoms too. Their fur traps dust and carries danger, so regular baths cut back on eye irritants. Make sure to wash your hands after playing with or petting your furry friends — and before you touch your eyes!
Some pet-owners experiencing severe eye allergy symptoms install hardwood or tile floors in their homes to reduce pet dander found in carpets and rugs.
We know it’s odd, an optometrist recommending you clean your house, wash your dog, or change your floors!
We understand: Everyone has a threshold for comfort and yours shouldn’t be compromised. It’s about achieving comfort for your eyes, which brings us to our next big point...
People suffering from eye allergies often look everywhere to find relief. One of the easiest options? Over-the-counter eye drops. And unfortunately, the type that “gets the red out” can cause more harm than good.
The main ingredient in these eye drops is tetrahydrozoline. (We have such fun words in eye care!) But in all seriousness, a study found that frequent use of these drops can cause your eyes to build up a tolerance or stop being effective. 
You end up using more drops, searching for relief, when really it’s adding to the cause of your symptoms.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as the right eye drop. Other times, something more serious requires a different approach. The way to find out? A professional eye exam — so the optometrist can determine the best treatment for your symptoms.
With powerful information like this, you can give your eyes the best care.
Eye On Health provides eye exams and treatment for a wide range of eye health conditions, including allergies. If you’re experiencing eye allergy symptoms — or it’s been a while since your last eye exam — come on down to our office.
We love supporting our local community’s vision and eye care needs. Our optometrist proudly serves the wonderful city of Phoenix as well as Litchfield Park and Goodyear. Dr. Balocca will get you back to enjoying our beautiful state in no time!