Spring Allergies and Your Eyes

Help for Seasonal Eye Allergies

Red, swollen and itchy eyes are often an unwelcome accompaniment to the joys of
spring. Eye allergies—also known as allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergies—can flare
up when pollen, dust or mold spores trigger an immune system response and cause a
host of irritating symptoms. In the spring, this condition is a common cause of
complaints at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO.
Since eye allergies can negatively affect a patient’s daily activities and quality of life, it is
a cause of concern this time of year. But what is the science behind allergic
conjunctivitis? And could my red eyes be a more serious condition than allergies?
Causes of Eye Allergies
An eye allergy, or allergic conjunctivitis, can be caused when the body’s immune system
reacts to a substance in the air, such as pollen or mold spores. An allergen encountered
in this way might normally be harmless, but in this case the mast cells in your eye react
by releasing histamines and other chemicals as a defensive response against the
allergen. Histamines are the cause of the symptoms that are found to be most irritating
during a bout with eye allergies. 1
Besides pollen and mold spores, here are some common allergens that can cause an
allergic reaction involving your eyes: 1
 Dust
 Perfume
 Pet dander
 Smoke
 Food
 Insect bites

Symptoms of Eye Allergy
Allergy eyes can be very irritating. If you are suffering from seasonal eye allergies, you
could experience any of the following symptoms: 2
 Red eyes
 Itching eyes
 Excessive tearing or watering
 Burning eyes
 Gritty feeling
 Puffy or swollen eyelids
 Sensitivity to light
 Blurred vision
Other Conditions that Cause Red Eyes
Besides allergies, there are several other conditions that can cause red, itchy eyes. A
few of them can be quite serious and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. That’s why
we recommend a visit to Colorado Ophthalmology Associates when you are suffering
from irritated eyes. Here are a few of the possible conditions that cause red eyes. 3
 Pink eye, aka conjunctivitis
 Dry eye
 Injury to the eye
 Blepharitis
 Glaucoma
Treatment for Eye Allergy
There may be some treatments you can do at home to give you some relief from spring
eye allergies. Eye drops purchased over-the-counter may provide some relief for the
itchiness. Allergy medication may also provide relief. If symptoms persist, be sure to see
your ophthalmologist for a consultation. Prescription drops or medication may be
available. 4
Otherwise, it is a good idea to avoid allergen triggers by limiting your time outdoors,
keeping your doors and windows closed, delegating yardwork, wearing a wide-brim hat
and sunglasses, avoiding smoke and exhaust, skipping perfume, and changing clothes
and washing hair, face and hands after being outside. 5
Get a consultation today
Are spring allergies making your eyes miserable? Don’t suffer in silence. Call us today
at one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood to get an appointment. Our
ophthalmologists can give you an examination to check for any issues and can
recommend some things that may help.

Denver: 303-320-1777
Lakewood: 303-989-2023

1 https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/allergies
2 https://allergyasthmanetwork.org/allergies/eye-allergies-conjunctivitis/
3 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17690-red-eye
4 https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-and-vision-conditions/ocular-allergies?sso=y
5 https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/conditions-library/allergies/eye-allergy-
overview

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