Allergies

Allergies

Image of a young girl blowing her nose.

Caused by the same irritants as hay fever, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, eye allergies commonly affect those who suffer from other allergy symptoms. Not only do eye allergies cause discomfort, but they can also interfere with daily activities.

Eye Allergy Causes

Medically referred to as allergic conjunctivitis, individuals who are predisposed to allergic reaction experience eye allergies when they come into contact with allergens (substances which prove harmless to others, like pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander). In addition to these allergens, some eye allergy sufferers also experience reactions to perfumes, smoke, cosmetics, insect bites/stings, foods, and the preservatives found in eye drops.

When an allergy sufferer's eyes come into contact with an allergen, his or her immune system reacts, and cells known as mast cells release histamine to try to combat the allergen. Histamine causes the symptoms associated with eye allergies.

Eye Allergy Symptoms

When mast cells in the eyes release histamine to fight off allergens, the eye lids, conjunctiva (membrane covering the underside of the eyelid), and sclera (white of the eye) become irritated. This leads to swelling, redness, watering, burning, and itching. Severe eye allergies can also cause light sensitivity. Though it appears similar, unlike pink eye (bacterial or viral conjunctivitis), allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.

Who Is at Risk?

Eye allergies affect up to 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. While anyone can be born with or develop allergies, people whose parents suffer from allergies are more likely to have allergies.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suffer from eye allergy symptoms, an eye care professional can provide you with a proper diagnosis, ruling out bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. Often over the counter eye drops formulated for allergy relief are often sufficient treatment. If they do not provide enough relief, an eye care professional can recommend or prescribe other methods of treatment such as decongestants, oral antihistamines, eye drops with antihistamine and mast stabilizer, corticosteroids, or immune therapy shots.

Eye Allergy Prevention

The best way to prevent eye allergies is to avoid eye allergens. Keep windows closed and stay indoors as much as possible during allergy season, replace air conditioning filters with high quality filters that trap allergens, reduce exposure to animals, wash bedding in hot water to remove allergens, and reduce humidity in the home to prevent mold growth.

Testimonials

  • This was my first time getting glasses & I was very pleased with how lovely the staff was! In addition, all of my questions were answered thoroughly & I loved how in-depth my prescription was described to me. The selection of glasses is wonderful! Love, love, love Helmus Optometry! 

    - Andi V.
  • My experience with Dr. Joann Helmus and the team at Helmus Optometry was excellent from start to finish. Office staff were kind and professional. I was confident in the quality and thoroughness of Dr. Helmus' exam. I have already recommended the practice to others. Many thanks to Helmus Optometry for the excellent care!

    ...
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  • For over twenty years I have seen Dr. Joann Helmus annually as my optometrist. The very high standard of service and technical knowledge of both doctor and staff has never wavered. Consistently modernizing their examination equipment in providing the most up-to-date exams and accurate prescriptions. Their selection of eyeglass frames is most complete range of style choices. The staff are very knowledgeable of insurance allowances, and discussed with me the many options available. Have many times and will continue recommending this outstanding optometric office to family and friends.

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    - Logan K.
  • Extremely professional, kind, helpful, staff from top to bottom! Exam was thorough and well diagnosed. Best glasses fitting ever, and that is with progressives. Quick service. I feel staff is very knowledgeable and willing to go to any extent to spend time with you and be helpful. Just moved to Davis and this is a great find. Highly recommend!!

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  • My family have been coming here for years! Always exceptional service and spend the time to figure our insurance coverage details. Highly recommended!!!

    - Pete K.
  • Everyone was so nice and accommodating. Dr. Helmus was very sweet and took the time to really talk to me like a person and not just another dollar sign. They also had a nice selection of glasses in many different styles and price ranges. Most insurance policies are covered here as well. Definitely a plus! They'll always have my business! 

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    Read More - Allyson C.

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Closed for staff meeting 11:00-11:50

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Monday
8:00 am - 5:45 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 5:45 pm Closed for staff meeting 11:00-11:50
Wednesday
8:00 am - 5:45 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 5:45 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

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