What Causes Eye Allergies?

May 18, 2020
By: Dr. Dimple Kapoor

Nothing is more bothersome than the feeling that something is stuck or lodged in your eye.

However, if you don’t see anything in them but you experience symptoms like itching, redness, burning sensation, and clear, watery discharge, it could be allergies. While they can occur on their own, eye allergies are associated with seasonal allergy symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose.

Today, Eye & Vision Care, your local provider of eye care services like annual eye exams and orthokeratology, shares the common causes of eye allergies.

Outdoor Allergens

Exposure to outdoor allergens like pollen from grass, trees, weeds, and wind-carried dust can cause eye allergies. This usually happens during spring, which is the time of year when plant life is blooming. When going outside, be sure to wear eyeglasses and face masks. Otherwise, stay at home whenever the pollen season reaches its peak.

Indoor Allergens

Aside from the outdoors, you should also keep an eye on your home’s air quality. Airborne allergens, such as pet dander, mold, and dust mites can also cause eye allergies. If your home has high humidity levels, use a dehumidifier to control the spread of mold. Limit exposure to dust mites by using mite-proof bedding covers. Wash your hands after handling your dog or cat and clean up shed fur.

Contact Lenses

Some people who wear contacts experience discomfort during allergy season, leading to questions about whether the medical devices are causing eye allergy symptoms. Studies, however, show that the allergic reactions are not caused by the contacts themselves but by substances that accumulate on the surface of the lenses. Daily disposable lenses made of silicone hydrogel material are usually prescribed to people in need of vision correction but are prone to eye allergies.

Allergy or Infection?

Fortunately, eye allergies aren’t contagious, but they can be frustrating to deal with. However, if the symptoms also come with discomfort, a gritty feeling in your eyes, or sensitivity to light, it is likely an eye infection. Whether it is a bacterial or viral infection depends on the type of discharge coming out of your eye. Visiting an eye doctor can help determine whether you have an eye allergy or infection.

Turn to the family eye care specialists of Eye & Vision Care for your eye exam. Call us today at (703) 783-1276 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve residents of South Riding, VA, and the surrounding communities.