Eye allergies are caused by the same airborne irritants that cause a runny nose and sneezing. If your eyes are red, itchy or watery, you have may have an eye allergy. This condition is quite common among people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Eye allergies may also lead to conjunctivitis or other eye infections.

Eye allergies will usually clear up on their own. You can ease the discomfort by using OTC eye drops. If you suspect that you have an eye allergy, here are a few things you should know.

Eye allergy: causes

Allergens are harmless substances that may cause problems for people susceptible to an allergic reaction. Pollen, dust and mold are the most common allergens which cause eye allergies. Eye drops or cosmetics may also cause eye allergies.

Eye Allergy Relief

Here are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of developing eye allergies.

Reduce your exposure to allergens

While this is not exactly easy, it is the best possible way to avoid getting eye allergies. For example, you should consider staying indoors on those days when the pollen count is too high. Run the air conditioner to filter the air. There are furnace filters which can trap most common allergens. If you use them, don’t forget to replace the filters regularly.

Wear wraparound sunglasses when you go outdoors during the allergy season. Also keep the windows of your car closed when you drive.

Try avoiding contact lenses

Contact lenses may attract airborne allergens. During the allergy season, you should consider wearing only spectacles. Alternatively, you can wear daily disposable contacts. You can discard them after a single-use. This will prevent the buildup of irritants on your contacts.

Use non-prescription eye drops

Eye allergies are very common and as a result, you can find a number of over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops. They will relieve the redness and itchiness caused by the allergens. If you only have mild symptoms, non-prescription eye drops should work well. They are also less expensive than prescription eye drops.

Do not rub your eyes even if they are itchy. Rubbing will make your symptoms worse.

You can use artificial tears to wipe away irritants from your eyes. You should also consider buying an air purifier for your house.

If over-the-counter eye drops do not relieve your symptoms or your symptoms are severe, you will need stronger medications and prescription eye drops.

Eye allergies are unlikely to cause any serious complications. However, don’t hesitate to contact your eye doctor, if you think that you have a condition that needs medical care.