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Do I Have Dry Eye or Eye Allergies?

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My eyes are red, swollen and itchy – I need an eye doctor near me to relieve my painful vision fast!

Your eyes itch, sting, look bloodshot and your eyelids are puffy. Even though your eye irritation is crystal clear, the cause of the irritation isn’t always as clear. Two typical conditions that you could be suffering from are dry eye or eye allergies. While these conditions share many of the same signs, the causes are very different – and so is the treatment.

To get rapid relief, you need to visit an eye doctor near me for a thorough eye exam. That’s the most reliable way to receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. At our eye care clinics in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and The Solution Center, our eye doctor will use advanced diagnostics to identify the root of your problem and recommend the best treatment to restore comfort to your eyes.

All about dry eye

To understand dry eye, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of how your eyes normally stay moist. Tears are composed of three layers: water, lipids and mucin. When the proportions of this composition are out of whack, dry eye results. Most of the time, dry eye is caused by an inadequate quantity of fatty lipids, which work to slow the evaporation rate of your tears.

If your tears evaporate too quickly, your eyes start to burn and turn red. Some people feel like sand is stuck under their eyelids, while others suffer from reflex tearing that causes watery eyes.

What’s the treatment for dry eye?

Depending on the precise cause of your dry eye, our eye doctor will recommend personalized dry eye therapies, such as:

  • Moisturizing eye drops or ointments. A variety of over-the-counter drugs are available, but it’s best to check with our eye doctors in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and The Solution Center, before buying – so you can verify which type of medication is right for you
  • Treatment for clogged Meibomian glands, such as LipiFLow
  • Omega-3 fatty acids nutritional supplements
  • Punctal plugs to block tear drainage and help disperse lubricating tears across the eye surface
  • Restasis or Xiidra eye drops
  • Amniotic membrane treatment

All about eye allergies

The most common symptom of eye allergies is itchy eyes, and this annoying sensation often appears along with inflammation and redness – especially if your allergies are more extreme. What’s causing the itchiness? When you have eye allergies, your immune system perceives that allergens – pollen, dust and pet dander are classic culprits – are threatening your health. In response, it goes into attack mode and releases histamines into your body, which cause the irritating symptoms of eye allergies.

Our eye doctors in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and The Solution Center treat many patients who experience eye allergies. The first line of defense that we recommend is not to rub your eyes! Rubbing your eyes and eyelids simply spreads the allergens around, exacerbating the symptoms.

What’s the treatment for eye allergies?

  • Avoidance of the bothersome allergen, whenever possible
  • Cool compresses held gently against your eyes
  • Antihistamine/mast cell stabilizer eye drops, which block the release of histamine
  • Artificial lubricants – ask our eye doctor which nonprescription medication would be most helpful for your condition

Two for the price of one – dry eye & allergies at the same time

Unfortunately, some people suffer from both types of eye irritation simultaneously. When that happens, the conditions play off each other, because dry eyes and the lack of a healthy tear film will make allergy symptoms worse. In this case, moisturizing eye drops may help to alleviate your pain – because they add lubrication to your eye surface and help to wash away the allergens.

We offer relief from dry eye and eye allergies in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and The Solution Center

Don’t delay, we’re here to figure out the problem and help you experience comfortable vision. Contact our conveniently located eye care clinics to book an appointment with a knowledgeable eye doctor near me.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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