Many people suffer with eyes that are red, watery, itchy, tearing or burning. Often these conditions are caused by eye allergies, also called allergic conjunctivitis. While a great many people with these symptoms just ignore them and assume that they are simply due to another condition such as a cold or nasal issue, they may in fact be the result of an allergy. At the office of Omni Eye & Vision (Burnaby) we can diagnose an eye allergy, as well as prescribe treatments to alleviate your discomfort.
Eye allergies are brought on by exposure to an allergen, which can be triggered by either indoor or outside irritants. Eye allergies develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment that typically causes no problem in most people. An allergic reaction can occur when that “something” comes in contact with antibodies attached to the mast cells in your eyes. The cells respond by releasing histamine and other substances or chemicals that cause tiny blood vessels to leak and the eyes to become itchy, red and watery. Indoor triggers include items such as pet dander, dust mites and mold, while outside allergens include pollen from grass, trees and weeds. Irritants such as smoke, perfume, car and truck exhaust, as well as diesel fumes, can also cause eye allergies. Because eye allergies can exhibit similar symptoms to other diseases of the eye, it’s important to visit our eye doctor for an eye examination to attain an accurate diagnosis. If swollen blood vessels and inflammation of the conjunctiva is present, it’s possible that you are suffering with an eye allergy. Depending on the severity of the allergy, there are many treatment options, ranging from over-the-counter eye drops to prescription medications that are designed to calm the allergy. Of course, identifying and avoiding the trigger allergens is an essential component of care.
At the office of Omni Eye & Vision (Burnaby), we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.