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How Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Eyes

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Seasonal Eye Allergies

An eye allergy is referred to as allergic cojuncvitus in medical terms. This is basically the response of the immune system to environmental changes and substances that are irritating your eyes.

These “irritating substances” are allergens that vary in form, for example, some people are allergic to pollen, some to dust, and some to smoke. Allergens vary from person to person; it depends on how your immune system responds to certain substances.

Eye allergies show a heightened response to these environmental components because unlike other allergies the eye interprets these allergens as “dangerous elements”. This triggers a chemical response within the eye to combat the distress.

This response is in particular responsible for various eye allergy symptoms such as sore eyes, red eyes, itchy eyes, watery eyes and so on.

Seasonal Eye allergies are, as the name suggests, the eye’s response to seasonal changes. These usually occur in the spring season when plants are highly active and there is an abundance of pollen, flowers, etc.

Watery eyes, swelling, and soreness are a result of seasonal changes. This happens when natural elements or mold release their spores. Trees and other plants release their pollen to fertilize the earth and this starts affecting the eyes.

 Effects of Seasonal Allergies on the Eyes

Although the allergens may vary from person to person, the symptoms or reactions generally remain quite similar for anyone who is allergic. While cigarette smoke, pets, and dust particles can also be triggers, seasonal allergies are only limited to exposure of the human eye to natural elements such as pollen from trees, grass and even flowers.

Seasonal allergens can cause a lot of irritation in the eyes. You will notice the following symptoms in an individual who is suffering from eye allergies:

  • Watering Eyes

As the eye perceives these rather harmless substances such as dust and pollen, etc. to be extremely dangerous, it releases moisture which is meant to clean the eye. This can very well be seen as a defense mechanism that the eye opts for in response to these foreign elements.

  • Itchy Eyes

Seasonal allergens are in the air and some might just enter your eyes. For people who do not experience allergies there will hardly be any reaction to these natural changes. People prone to allergies, on the other hand, will experience irritation from the pollen and dust which causes itching.

  • Swollen Eyes

This can be caused by excessive itching and cleaning of the eyes.  Constant friction causes the skin around the eye to appear swollen.

  • Red Eyes

Seasonal changes can also cause severe redness in the eyes along with other symptoms. The capillaries in the eye actual appear quite red when someone is suffering from allergies.

  • Dry Eyes

While this is not a result of pollen or dust, it can be a reaction to winter conditions. In places where it snows or the air gets extremely cold, people experience this eye condition more often. This causes the moistness from the eyes to dry up and can result in redness and soreness.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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