New Location: We've moved! Uptown Allergy & Asthma is now seeing patients at our new location at 2620 Jena Street (right next door to our old location!). We look forward to seeing you in our new space.
Eye Allergies Shouldn’t Make You Uncomfortable
See an Eye Allergy Specialist in New Orleans
Dr. Reena Mehta is a board-certified eye allergy specialist in New Orleans, LA that can help you and your children thrive over eye allergies. Learn about treatment options and symptoms to tell the difference between eye allergies, pink eye, and infections. Contact us today for an appointment!
“We would definitely recommend Dr. Mehta. She helped us to properly diagnose AJ’s dust allergy. He had been coughing for years and we even went to the ENT and they did an allergy test and it didn’t help. Dr. Mehta was so friendly and warm and found out what was wrong. We followed her treatment, made some environment changes, and started some over the counter medication and it helped so much. We are so grateful.“
– Sara A, 7-year old son AJ, December 2018
An allergic reaction in your eyes occurs when something you are allergic to irritates the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Eye allergies are also called allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergy, and there are many distinct diagnoses associated with eye allergies.
Seasonal Eye Allergies
Indoor Eye Allergies
Contact Eye Allergies
Eye allergies usually affect both eyes. Eye allergy symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyelid swelling
- Aversion to light
- Blurred vision
- Production of thick mucus
- Feeling of having something in the eye
Eye allergy symptoms caused by seasonal outdoor allergens tend to be worse than those caused by indoor allergens. Eye allergies are not contagious.
Pink Eye vs Allergies
Understanding the differences between pink eye and allergies is important to getting eye relief. Eye allergies can share many symptoms with pink eye, but the two conditions differ in their underlying cause. Pink eye is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection, is typically shorter-lived than eye allergies, and is often more severe. Eye allergies, on the other hand, will persist with continued exposure to whatever you’re allergic to.
Allergies are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as sneezing, itching of the nose or roof of the mouth, nasal congestion, runny nose, throat irritation, and dark circles under the eyes. In contrast, pink eye symptoms are usually exclusive to the conjunctiva.
Eye Allergies vs Infection
Understanding the differences between eye allergies and an eye infection is important to getting eye relief. Eye allergies are not threatening to your eyesight, but they can cause temporary blurred vision. Infections and other conditions that do threaten eyesight may be ‘masked’ by eye allergy symptoms, which is why it’s important to seek care if you feel that you’re experiencing atypical symptoms. Usually eye allergies affect both eyes (bilateral), whereas an eye infection usually only affects one eye (unilateral).
The first step to overcoming eye allergies is to find out what’s causing them. A board-certified eye allergy specialist is best suited to evaluate your medical history, assess your lifestyle, and provide comprehensive allergy testing to get to the bottom of your eye allergies.
An eye allergy test typically begins with a visual examination of your eyes with a microscope to see if blood vessels are swollen on the surface of the eye. Dr. Mehta may also scrape a sample from your conjunctiva and test it for white blood cells that are overrepresented in areas of the eye affected by allergies. Dr. Mehta may also run other allergy tests, including skin tests or blood tests, to help you better understand your allergies.
The first step to getting eye allergy treatment is to find out what’s causing the eye allergy. A board-certified eye allergy specialist is best suited to evaluate your medical history, assess your lifestyle, and provide comprehensive allergy testing to get to the bottom of your eye allergies.
Once you know what you’re allergic to, there are steps you can take to minimize exposure to eye allergens, effectively manage reactions if they occur, and prevent reactions altogether. Be sure to discuss any medications with your allergist prior to using them.
Avoid Eye Allergens
Avoidance is key to eye allergy relief. If you’re affected by seasonal outdoor allergens:
- Check your local pollen count whenever you check the weather
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to reduce the amount of allergen that blow into the eyes
- Wear sunglasses to help reduce the amount of allergen that lands in the eyes
- Apply saline drops to the eyes after being outdoors to wash away allergens from the ocular lining
- After coming inside from being outside, shower and wash your clothes
- Keep windows closed, especially during high pollen and mold seasons
To avoid indoor allergens:
- Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce exposure to their dander
- Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce dust in your home
- Keep windows closed during high pollen and mold seasons
- Steam clean carpets or remove carpets altogether
- Avoid air drying laundry outside
- Wash your bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent frequently to reduce allergens
Antihistamine pills and eye drops may provide short-term relief, but prolonged use of certain eye drops is not recommended as they may actually make your eye allergy symptoms worse. Be sure to consult with your allergist if your symptoms are longer lasting or if you find yourself taking over-the-counter eye drops for more than an extended period of time.
Corticosteroid Eye Drops
Depending on your medical history, Dr. Mehta may prescribe other types of eye drops for your allergies, including antihistamine eye drops, mast cell stabilizer eye drops, combination antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer eye drops, and/or NSAID eye drops.
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Allergy shots can provide long-term resistance to certain allergens. Depending on what is causing your eye allergy symptoms, allergy shots can be very effective.
See an Eye Allergy Specialist in New Orleans
If eye allergies are causing you discomfort, it might be time to see an eye allergy specialist. Dr. Mehta has a reputation for developing strong relationships with her patients and being exceptionally attentive to their needs and concerns.
Call us anytime, M-F, 8am-5pm.
Saturday appointments available upon request.
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