Ocular Allergies

Ocular allergies are the abnormal response of sensitive eyes to contact with allergens and other irritating substances.
Eye allergies

Often negatively affecting quality of life meriting consideration for customized treatment plans instead of one-size-fits-all, over-the-counter (OTC) relief.

Ocular allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, is one of the most common ocular surface diseases in primary eye care. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and perennial allergic conjunctivitis alone make up 95% of all allergic conjunctivitis in the U.S. Yet allergic conjunctivitis is often unaddressed largely due to its relatively benign nature.

While allergists consider the respiratory ramifications, doctors of optometry can comanage patients for their ocular allergies, bolstering their overall care and quality of life.

Causes & risk factors

  • Seasonal causes—allergens.
  • Chronic causes—contact lens reaction.

Symptoms

Symptoms can in occur in one or both eyes:

  • Itching.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.

Diagnosis

A comprehensive eye exam as other causes such as dry eye and blepharitis have similar symptoms.

Treatment

  • Over the counter allergy eye drops.
  • Over the counter oral allergy medication.
  • Consult a doctor of optometry if symptoms do not subside or worsen over time to discuss possible prescription drops or oral medication.

Prevention

Use over the counter or prescription (as needed) allergy medications prior to and during allergy season.

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