Don’t Be Miserable: Know Your Eye Allergies

shutterstock_104988671Once a group of students went to study in a foreign country. One day in a new area, a girl who had never had allergies before started experiencing symptoms of allergies. Everyone quickly realized that this girl was allergic to a type of pollen that was uncommon in both their home country and the area they usually stayed in in their temporary home. Her eyes were the hardest hit. Soon she couldn’t see. Her eyes were so swollen and red and itchy, that she did not want to do anything. This girl spent what was supposed to be a fun weekend out in bed with a warm, wet washcloth over her eyes.

The Causes of Eye Allergies

While you can’t possibly know you’re allergic to something you’ve never encountered before, like in the above unfortunate situation, you should be aware of what can typically cause eye allergies. If you are aware, you can be better prepared, even when something unexpected strikes.

Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis

When people say they have “allergies” and do not make a specific statement like “I’m allergic to dogs,” this is usually what they’re talking about. This is the most common type of eye allergy, and it will flare up at different seasons (usually spring, summer, and fall) based on the pollen types that are floating around.

This type of allergies can also last year round, in which case they are called perennial allergies. These are usually caused by dust, mold, or animals.

Contact Allergic Conjunctivitis

Did you know that your contact lenses can cause allergies? While not as common as seasonal pollen allergies, contact allergies can be caused when your contact lenses irritate your eyes. Your tears also have certain proteins in them, and these proteins can attach themselves to the contact lens, causing further irritation. If this progresses into something serious, it can become giant papillary conjunctivitis, which is where fluid sacs will form in the inner eyelid.

Other Medical Allergies

There are a few other allergies that form based more on personal conditions, such as age or gender. These aren’t necessarily triggered by anything specific other than your body but cause allergy symptoms.

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