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What You Need to Know About Spring Eye Allergies

treat eye allergiesSpringtime is here, which means the return of barbeques, family vacations, road trips…and spring eye allergies.  For those who suffer from eye allergies (also known as allergic conjunctivitis), the return of warmer weather brings about typical symptoms including red, swollen, or itchy eyes; burning or tearing of the eyes; and sensitivity to light.

These symptoms are your eyes’ way of attempting to fight off the allergens in the air.  When these allergens make contact with your eyes, they produce histamine, which effectively fights off the irritants.  In addition to the symptoms produced by these allergens, sufferers typically experience nasal allergies as well, which include a stuffy, itchy nose accompanied by frequent sneezing.

It’s important for allergy sufferers to realize that springtime allergies alone aren’t responsible for all that misery.  In a NOVA W0man article by Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths of NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA (also serving the greater Washington, DC area), she pointed out that eye irritants can be attributed to and even exacerbated by other environmental triggers. Click here to see a PDF of the article:

[…] Eye allergies can develop from exposure to other environmental triggers, such as pet dander, dust, smoke, perfumes, or even foods.  If the exposure is ongoing, the allergies can be more severe, with significant burning and itching and even sensitivity to light.

While springtime allergies may seem like something you have to suffer through, Dr. Griffiths points out that your ophthalmologist may have the answers you need to put an end to the stuffy, itchy misery.  For example, your ophthalmologist can take the following steps to help determine how to best treat your eye allergies:

  • Your ophthalmologist will determine if your symptoms are related to an eye infection or allergic conjunctivitis.  This usually takes a quick examination of your eyes, as well as an assessment of your medical history.  If your family has eye allergies, you’ll likely suffer from eye allergies as well.
  • As a next step, your ophthalmologist can help identify which allergens you’re most sensitive to.  This may involve taking a skin or blood test to determine which specific allergen you’re allergic to.  Common allergens include pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, and plants.
  • Common treatments for eye allergies can include artificial tears, decongestants, antihistamines, corticosteroids, and immunotherapy shots.

If you want to put an end to your springtime allergies, contact Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA today. Our practice serves all of Washington DC and Northern Virginia. Just complete the form in the top left corner or call (703)834-9777.