Your eye health matters
If you are experiencing symptoms including itchy, watery and red eyes you might be suffering from ocular allergy. It is always best to check with an eye expert to get an official diagnosis but here is some more information on the condition.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OCULAR ALLERGIES
WHAT IS AN OCULAR ALLERGY?
Ocular Allergies also known as allergic conjunctivitis are very common, the same allergens that cause sneezing and runny noses can also irritate your eyes leading to symptoms including itchy, watery and red eyes. The most common cause of allergic conjunctivitis are seasonal triggers such as pollen.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Some symptoms to look out for include:
Swollen eye lids
Tearing or runny eyes
Other allergic symptoms i.e. runny nose or sneezing
HOW COMMON ARE OCULAR ALLERGIES?
1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by allergies (data from Allergy UK) and roughly 15 million people suffer from hay fever, which is around 20% to 25% of the population.
WHAT CAUSES OCULAR ALLERGIES?
Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva due to allergy. Allergies are caused when the immune system, the body’s defence mechanism reacts to things that are not normally harmful, and releases chemicals called histamines. These lead to itching, swelling and redness. Causes include pollen, dust and some chemicals.
HOW CAN YOU MANAGE AN OCULAR ALLERGY?
The first thing is to limit your contact with the allergen – this might be by wearing sunglasses to reduce the amount of pollen reaching your eyes, or simply avoiding situations known to trigger problems. Pollen and dust can linger in hair, so washing hair or keeping it tied back can help.
But when symptoms of itchy, runny, red eyes have already started what can you do? Cold compresses can be an effective way to reduce redness and soothe symptoms, and can complement the use of antihistamine eye drops for rapid relieve symptoms of itching and redness.
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