Most people can agree that trying to differentiate between allergic symptoms and dry eye condition can be challenging. Many individuals who often have allergies also experience dry eye symptoms. The likelihood of allergic reactions combining with the ocular surface disease is very common in patients of advanced age. Allergies can be a cause of dry and itchy eyes. In some cases, medications that are given to treat allergies can cause the eyes to dry out.
The “dry eye” syndrome is a common condition, especially among people over the age of 50. The problem occurs when the eyes become dry due to failure to produce tears. Sometimes, the issue can occur because tears evaporate too quickly. There are reasons besides allergies why people get dry eyes. Some reasons for dry eyes include the side effect of medication, hormone replacement therapy, LASIK surgery, and failing to blink often. Other causes include pregnancy, eyelid infection, wearing contact lenses for too long, and immune system problems.
Irritants and allergens like smoke and pollen are a major cause of dry eyes. Five different types of allergic conditions affect the eyes. They include seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, and vernal keratoconjunctivitis. Other types are contact allergic conjunctivitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis.
When dry eyes are due to allergies, an individual will experience several symptoms. Some of them include itchiness, redness in and around the eyes, and a feeling of something in the eye. Other symptoms include a burning sensation in the eyes and experiencing watery discharge from the eyes. Some people also experience sensitivity to light and blurry vision. The symptoms experienced depend on the type of allergy that is causing the problem.
When dry eyes are due to environmental allergies, the individual tends to experience several symptoms. The symptoms include itchiness, burning, redness, and watery discharge. The causes of the condition include being in a dry or windy environment, smoke, medication, and other reasons. Potential triggers for dry eyes are pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold, diesel exhaust, cigarette smoke, and perfume.
There are things that you can do to treat or manage dry eyes. By controlling your environment and using some medication, you can find some relief. There are things that you can do to reduce allergic triggers in your environment. Simple measures like washing your hands after handling your pet and wearing glasses instead of contact lenses can help. Using a dehumidifier in the home will help to reduce mold. Apart from limiting your exposure to allergens, you can also talk to your doctor about prescription medication for dry eyes.
Some treatment options for dry eyes include artificial tears, decongestant eye drops, oral antihistamines, and allergy shots. Natural remedies like placing a warm compress on the eyes can help with dry eyes. If your symptoms persist, you need to get professional advice for proper diagnosis. It is very important to talk to a doctor to determine the root cause of the dry eyes.
If you want to know more about dry eyes and allergies, visit NorthWest Ohio Vision Center at our offices in Bryan, Ohio. You can also call (419) 452-4830 to book an appointment today.