An eye allergy is a allergic reaction to an allergic substance on the surface of the eye. With an eye allergy, you will have:
Eye allergies that occur during the same season each year are caused by pollens. Pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds are invisible and travel in the air. Allergies that are not seasonal may be caused by pets (for example, cats), feathers, perfumes, eye makeup, or another substance. The things that cause allergies are called allergens.
Most eye allergies due to a pollen last 4 to 6 weeks, which is the length of most pollen seasons. If the allergic substance can be identified (for example, a cat) AND avoided, the symptoms will not return.
First wash the pollen off your face. Then use a clean washcloth and cool water to clean off your eyelids. (Tears will wash the pollen out of the eyes.) This rinse of the eyelids may need to be repeated every time you come in on a windy day. Pollen also collects in the hair and on exposed body surfaces. This pollen can easily be reintroduced into your eyes. Therefore, take a shower and shampoo every night before bedtime. Try not to touch your eyes unless your hands have been washed recently.
Usually, your eyes will feel much better after the pollen is washed out and a cold compress (for example, a cold, wet washcloth) is applied. If they are still itchy or bloodshot, you may need s antihistamine eye drops that you can buy without a prescription. Zaditor or Alaway are the most effective OTC antihistamine eye drops. Use 1 drop every 12 hours throughout the pollen season.
If these measures aren't effective, you probably also have hay fever (that is, allergic symptoms of the nose) and need an oral antihistamine prescribed. The following antihistamines are OTC: Benadryl and chlorpheniramine work for 8 hours. Zyrtec and Claritin work for 24 hours. Take the correct dosage as listed on the product. They need to be taken on a daily basis until pollen season is over. This will control both the nose and eye symptoms.
Some suggestions to reduce exposure to allergens are:
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