Most allergic eye conditions are more irritating than dangerous.
Allergic or vernal keratoconjunctivitis may result in scarring of the cornea and visual problems.
Itchy eyes are probably allergic eyes.
Topical antihistamine/decongestant preparations are effective and safe for mildly itchy, red eyes.
Patanol, a topical mast-cell stabilizer, is a safe, highly effective, long-acting treatment.
Topical steroids should be used with caution and under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.
If in doubt, seek medical advice sooner rather than later.
Eye allergy introduction
The eyes are the windows to the soul because they reflect our state of mind. This certainly can’t be true if our eyes are red, swollen, watery, and itchy from an allergic reaction. Severe allergic eye symptoms can be very distressing and are a common reason for visits to the allergist, ophthalmologist, and even the emergency room. Occasionally, severe eye allergies cause serious damage that can threaten eyesight.
What causes eye allergies?
Eye allergies usually are associated with other allergic conditions, particularly hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and atopic eczema (dermatitis). The causes of eye allergies are similar to those of allergic asthmaand hay fever. Medications and cosmetics can play a significant role in causing eye allergies. Reactions to eye irritants and other eye conditions (for example, infections such as pinkeye) are often confused with eye allergy. Any kind of irritant, whether environmental, infectious, or manmade, can cause symptoms consistent with eye allergies.