Bryan Ma O.D. Optometry Inc.
Bryan Ma, O.D.
Optometry located in Orange, CA
It’s estimated that 20% of the general population has allergic conjunctivitis, which is the most common type of eye allergy. The tricky thing about eye allergies is that they share the same symptoms as serious eye conditions. After performing a comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Bryan Ma can determine the exact cause of your symptoms and prescribe the best treatment for your eyes. If you have questions about eye allergies, call the doctor’s practice, Bryan Ma, O.D. Optometry in Orange, California, or book an appointment online.
Allergies Q & A
What causes eye allergies?
Eye allergies develop when your immune system overreacts and labels a normally safe substance as an allergen that’s harmful to your body. Then every time you encounter the allergen, your immune system releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
If you’re familiar with other types of allergies, such as hay fever, you know that they can cause eye symptoms together with sneezing and nose symptoms.
By comparison, a true eye allergy only causes problems with your eyes, such as:
- Itchy eyes
- Red eyes
- Swelling in and around your eyes
- Tearing and discharge from your eyes
- Feeling like a foreign object is in your eye
These symptoms can also be signs of other eye problems that are more serious than eye allergies, so it’s always a good idea to protect your eyes and schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
Are there different types of eye allergies?
You can develop an eye allergy in response to a variety of different allergens. However, the most common eye allergy, allergic conjunctivitis, is caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander. This type of eye allergy may be worse at certain seasons or last all year, depending on your allergens.
Other types of eye allergies can be triggered by medications or in response to proteins that stick to the surface of your contact lenses. Older patients with a history of eczema may develop a chronic eye allergy call atopic keratoconjunctivitis.
How are eye allergies treated?
The first line of treatment for eye allergies includes over-the-counter eye drops to relieve your symptoms. Dr. Ma often recommends these products that provide quick relief for eye allergy symptoms:
- ZADITOR®: prescription-strength antihistamine that relieves itchy eyes
- Alaway®: also an antihistamine that relieves itchy eyes
- Opcon-A®: contains an antihistamine for itchy eyes and a medication to eliminate redness
Beyond alleviating symptoms, the next step in treating eye allergies is to try to avoid your allergens. Since most eye allergies are caused by airborne substances, taking steps such as keeping your windows closed and running your air conditioning can help.
If your eye allergies are severe, you may want to consider seeing an allergy specialist, having a skin test to identify your allergens, and talking with that doctor about allergy shots (immunotherapy).
We can help you find relief from eye allergies. Call Bryan Ma, O.D. Optometry or book an appointment online.