Seasonal allergies are at an all-time high, and some of the tell all signs are red, watery and itchy eyes. Dr. Rebecca Moser with Vold Vision says this time of year there is a dramatic increase in patients with eye allergies being seen by eye care providers. “Eye allergies are a really big problem this time of year for people that suffer from seasonal allergies, and that’s likely because of the high pollen count. If you know that you’re allergic to pollen, you would want to try and stay indoors as much as possible, drive with your windows closed, and if you do go outside, wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the allergens.”
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It is estimated that more than 6.1 million of the children population and 20 million of the adult population suffer from allergies. Dr. Moser shared, “Eye allergies are caused whenever your eye comes into contact with an allergen. Most common allergens are pollen, dust, pet dander and mold. The allergen basically causes an immune response in your body that releases chemicals that cause the allergic reaction. This allergic reaction could cause your eyes to become red, itchy, watery, or swollen.”
A common question that patients have is when to treat with over-the-counter medications, and when is the right time to come in and see the optometrist. “If your symptoms are mild, you may benefit from using over-the-counter medication, but if your symptoms are more severe and interfering with your quality of life, you need to consider seeing an eye doctor who can prescribe a medication for you,” Dr. Moser stated.
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