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Eye Allergies

Intro

If you suffer from allergies but can identify and avoid whatever you are allergic to, your allergies should improve markedly. If you are unable to identify or avoid the allergens, seeking care for your ocular allergies from an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery) may help to make them more bearable.

If you have SAC, you may want to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist prior to the season in which you suffer from allergies in order to start treatment before your symptoms from ocular allergies begin.

If you have PAC, routine appointments with your ophthalmologist may be helpful to monitor your ocular allergies. Occasional flare-ups of your symptoms may require more frequent visits. Consultation with an allergist may be very beneficial.

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Self-Care at Home

With allergies, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Avoidance of the allergen(s) is the mainstay in the treatment of allergies. If you can identify and avoid the particular agent that you are allergic to, your symptoms will improve dramatically.

To further help alleviate your symptoms, you may want to try these tips for self-care at home.

  • Reduce the allergen load by minimizing clutter where allergens can collect.
  • Limit pillows, bedding, draperies, and other linens, such as dust ruffles and canopies.
  • Reduce the number of knickknacks that collect dust.
  • Minimize carpeting that can harbor dust mites.
  • Clean regularly and thoroughly to remove dust and mold.
  • Eliminate water leaks and standing water that encourage mold growth.
  • Use barriers and filters.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with allergen impermeable covers.
  • Use allergen filters in both the furnace and the air conditioner in your home. Also, be sure to change them regularly.
  • Keep outdoor allergens outdoors by keeping windows and doors closed.
  • Avoid pet dander and other irritants.

Unfortunately, avoidance of the allergen(s) is not always easy or possible. In this case, the following at-home treatments may provide you with some relief from your ocular allergies.

  • Apply cold compresses to your eyes to help reduce the allergic reaction.
  • Use artificial tears/lubricating eyedrops as needed to help flush out allergens that get into your eyes.
  • Use over-the-counter medications, such as allergy eyedrops and oral antihistamines, as directed for mild allergies.

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Follow-up

Follow-up appointments are scheduled as needed.

For mild cases of PAC and SAC, annual follow-up visits with an ophthalmologist may be appropriate.
For more severe cases or for intermittent exacerbations of normally mild disease, more frequent visits with an ophthalmologist may be required.

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Prevention Unfortunately, other than avoidance of the allergen(s), PAC and SAC cannot be prevented.
Outlook

Most people with SAC and PAC have nothing to worry about more than it being an annoying inconvenience. Although your symptoms might make the activities of daily living miserable for you, no long-term vision loss is to be expected.

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