Symptoms of dry eye and eye irritation caused by allergies are similar but different clinically. If you aren’t sure whether you have dry eyes or allergies, you may use wrong treatments that do not relieve your symptoms. Visiting your Searcy optometrist for a medical eye examination is important in determining the underlying cause of your eye irritation so you can treat symptoms with appropriate medications.
The Difference Between Dry Eyes & Eyes Affected by Allergies
Chronically dry eyes lack sufficient tears for keeping the surface of the eye moist enough to prevent irritation and to allow eyelids to move smoothly over the eyes. Composed of lipids, water and mucin (proteins that act as wetting agents), tears need to remain in the eye constantly to prevent dryness. Dry eyes occur when tears do not contain enough lipids, mucin and/ or water to stop them from evaporating too quickly.
Getting Treatment for Dry Eye in Searcy
Most people suffering dry eyes have too little lipids in their tears, a problem arising from dysfunctional meibomian glands. Classic symptoms of dry eyes include a burning sensation, redness and the feeling that you have grit or sand embedded in your eye. If your Searcy eye doctor suspects something is wrong with your meibomian glands, he may take a sample of the gland’s secretion, test it for reduced lipids and prescribe appropriate medications.
Allergy Treatment for Eyes at Searcy Optometry
Allergies to pollen, house dust, pet dander or mold involves your immune system attacking your own body by releasing histamines, or chemicals causing inflammation. In response to release of histamines, your nasal passages produce excessive amounts of fluids and your eyes start itching when histamine forces microscopic blood vessels in your eyes to leak. This is why your eyes water, redden and itch during an allergy attack. To treat itchy eyes due to allergies, your optometrist in Searcy will recommend antihistamine medication or eye drops.
To make an appointment with a Searcy eye doctor, please call Searcy Eye Care and Vision Therapy Center today at (501) 268-3577.