Eye allergies can be the result of an overreaction by the body’s immune system to foreign substances (allergens). Symptoms can be seasonal, occurring most often in the late spring or fall when pollen is the highest. People who have other allergies often have ocular allergies as well. Almost 80% of people with hay fever allergies have ocular allergies.
Like other allergies a person may have, ocular allergies vary in severity from itchy and watery eyes to extensive inflammation. Common symptoms include itching, burning sensations, sensitivity to light, a feeling of having your eyelids “glued shut” in the morning, and tearing.
There are various causes of ocular allergies, but the treatment goals are identical: prevention and limiting or reducing the symptoms. Where possible, the goal is to remove the offending allergen.
Cold compresses, artificial tears, and topical decongestants and topical antihistamines are typical treatment strategies. Some of these preparations are available without a prescription and maybe completely adequate for people who have mild cases or intermittent cases of ocular allergies, but if symptoms are more severe, the over-the-counter remedies are usually inadequate simply because they are not nearly as potent as those require a prescription.
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or a topical steroid.