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 that can help you and your children thrive over eye allergies.
“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.
Seasonal Eye Allergens
For most individuals affected by eye allergies, reactions are caused by seasonal outdoor allergens such as pollen or mold spores. For this reason, eye allergies usually get worse during certain seasons and on days with high pollen counts.
Indoor Eye Allergens
Indoor allergens, like pet dander and dust mites, can also cause eye allergies. In contrast to seasonal allergens, indoor allergens tend to be present year-round and may worsen during certain activities like house cleaning or grooming a pet.
Eye allergies usually affect both eyes. Symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyelid swelling
Symptoms caused by seasonal outdoor allergens tend to be worse than those caused by indoor allergens. Eye allergies are not contagious.
Eye Allergies or Eye Infection
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 allergist 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:
- 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
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 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
Corticosteroid eye drops are effective, but can have serious side effects, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and infection. Use of corticosteroid eye drops should be overseen by your allergist to ensure that these risks are appropriately managed.
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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