Spring brings along warmer temperatures and lighter jackets, but it can be a dreadful season for those with allergies. For many, it’s difficult to distinguish between allergies and dry eyes since the symptoms are similar. Additionally, a handful of patients may be experiencing both allergies and dry eyes. In today’s blog, we will go over the difference between allergies and dry eyes and how to treat them if you have both conditions.
Do itchy, puffy and watery eyes sound all too familiar to you? These are the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction in the eye. Allergens such as dust, pollen and pet dander enter the body, and the immune system sees it as a threat and overreacts. As a result, it produces uncomfortable symptoms such as a runny nose and constant sneezing.
Treatment for eye allergies is simple and effective with anti-allergy drops as prescribed by your optometrist. Additionally, your doctor may also recommend a cool compress to reduce the inflammation and preservative-free artificial drops to wash away the irritant.
Dry Eyes and Allergies
Dry eyes is a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears dry up too quickly because of low oil. Symptoms include grittiness, burning and irritation.
There are some allergy medications such as antihistamines that can cause dry eyes. Additionally, if you have allergies, your eyes will be more prone to inflammation which can increase the risk of developing dry eyes.
Treatments for Dry Eyes
If you suffer from dry eyes caused by allergies, there are several treatments to help reduce dry eye symptom. Usually a treatment plan that includes both at-home and in-office treatments provides the best results. Below is a condensed list of therapies that can help reduce your symptoms.
- Preservative-free eye drops two to four times a day
- Warm compress at night such as a Bruder Mask
- Eyelid cleaning with cleansers and eyelid wipes
- Microexfoliation of the eyelids
- Thermal pulsation therapy (radiofrequency, LipiFlow, iLux)
- Intense Pulsed Light
Need Help to Stop Itchy and Dry Eyes? Find a Dry Eye Doctor Near You!
You don’t have to suffer from dry eyes and allergies through the spring and summer months. Speak to an optometrist that is an expert in the dry eye field so they can curate a specific treatment plan for you. Head over to our doctor locator to find a clinic near you.