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Common Causes of Eye Allergies

Understanding what is causing you eye allergies is often the first step to solving the problem.

Common Causes of Eye Allergies

Eye allergies occur when the conjunctiva, a mucous lining under the eyelids, comes in contact with an allergen. Even if the particle is harmless, the immune system treats it like a threat and causes symptoms like reddening of the eyes, itching, excessive tearing, and puffy eyelids. The causes and symptoms of eye allergies can vary from person to person, but it is manageable like most other allergic reactions. To begin with, you should understand what is causing the allergic reactions.

Seasonal allergies

These allergies occur only during certain seasons in a year, especially in the early spring and autumn, when the air is rich in pollen from new grass and flowers. Pollen can create severe allergic reactions in the eyes and cause allergic conjunctivitis along with other allergic symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and wheezing. When all these symptoms come together, the condition is known as hay fever. People suffering from seasonal allergies show the symptoms throughout the spring and summer months when plants are pollinating. You can manage seasonal allergies by taking careful measures like wearing sunglasses, enquiring about pollen count before travelling to new places, and scheduling your exercise routines early in the morning or late in the evening when the pollen count is at the lowest. Keep allergy treatment handy at home during times of the year when you know you are prone to allergic reactions.

Allergic reaction to cosmetic products

Compounds used in cosmetic products sometimes cause allergic reactions like conjunctivitis. Usually, the symptoms show in a day or two after applying the product. The symptoms may include puffy eyelids, reddening of the eyes and eyelids, and thickening of the eyelid skin. Once, you identify the product causing the allergic reaction, it's wise to refrain from using the product immediately.

In most cases the symptoms of an eye infection caused by makeup will go away in a few days. Avoid wearing any makeup, contacts, or coloured contacts for several days to give your eyes proper time to heal. If there is no improvement, or you notice the irritation gets worse, consult your healthcare expert or an eye doctor for advice. Once the infection as properly healed you can continue to use cosmetics, but avoid using the same brand again. As a good rule of thumb, always check the expiry date on any makeup before buying it. Old makeup can cause skin irritations and infection.

Allergic reaction to contact lenses

An allergic reaction caused by wearing contact lenses can causes great discomfort to the wearer. The symptoms include itching and reddening of the eyes. It is often known as GPC or Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis. It happens when the immune system tries to repel the hard worn-out contact lenses. If you suffer from GPC, you should immediately consult your eye doctor and seek treatment. Also, replace the hard contact lenses with a softer and non-allergenic alternative. You can manage allergic reactions to contact lenses with prescribed, or over the counter, eye drops or medications that can help in reducing the allergic reactions. Ask your local pharmacist for advice on this.

Remember to follow the advised length of useage on the packaging of all contact lenses, coloured or normal. Wearing contacts for longer than they are meant can cause eye infection.

Perennial allergies

Perennial allergies can persist throughout the year, and are caused by the common allergens found in your home or workplace. Exposure to dust mites, pet dander, and other debris can cause allergies throughout the year unless you take the necessary steps to manage them. Sneezing, blocked nose, and itchy eyes are just a few common symptoms of perennial. These allergies can be controlled if you take the initiative to keep your home neat and clean. Clean your rooms with vacuum cleaners and mop your floors to get rid of the dust-mites and other allergy-causing parasites. With regular cleaning routines you can keep allergens away from your home.