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ALL ABOUT
EYE ALLERGIES

Approximately
40 million Americans
have indoor/outdoor allergies
GREATER
THAN
 
OF PATIENTS WITH GENERAL
ALLERGIES MAY HAVE EYE
ALLERGY SYMPTOMS1

EYE ALLERGIES

ARE A SPECIFIC FORM OF EYE DISEASE
CAUSED BY ANY KIND OF IRRITANT,
INCLUDING:2,3
ENVIRONMENTALINFECTIOUSArtificial
Substances
Eye allergies mainly affect
the surface
of the eye
as well as
the inner folds
of the eyelids3
Pet hair
or dander
Mold and
mold spores
Grass, tree
and weed pollens
Dust mites Makeup or
perfume
In a survey, over 50% of homes had at least 6 detectable allergens5
TYPES OF EYE ALLERGIES6

Seasonal and perennial eye allergies are the most common types of eye allergies

of eye allergies
are seasonal
or perennial
DESPITE THEIR PREVALENCE, EYE ALLERGIES ARE OFTEN UNDERDIAGNOSED AND CONSEQUENTLY UNDERTREATED7

SO HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE EYE ALLERGIES?3,8,9,16

Here is a list of the most common symptoms:
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Watery or tearing eyes
  • Swelling or inflammation of the eyelids
  • Burning of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
OF PATIENTS SELF-REPORTED
ITCHY EYES
AS A TOP SYMPTOM10
WHAT’S NEXT?
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS!
There are ways to help
manage eye allergy symptoms:11-13
  • Remove your contact lenses
  • Rinse your eyes and/or apply a cold, wet compress to irritated eyes
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, despite how itchy they may be
  • Leave your shoes at the door
  • Wash your hair before bed
  • Close your windows and outside doors
  • Use the “recirculate” option when driving instead of using vents, which may let pollen in
  • Be mindful of changing filters
  • Adjust humidity level indoors
  • Check allergy counts and prepare accordingly

There are also effective medications to help relieve eye allergy symptoms:14,15

Over-the-Counter Treatments
Over-the-counter medications can be obtained without a prescription and include treatment options such as over-the-counter oral antihistamines, both pills and liquids, and over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops.
Prescription Treatments
A prescription can be obtained from your doctor or eye care professional for treatment options such as prescription eye drops, pills and liquids.
Doctors you can visit to determine ways to treat eye allergies:
> General practitioners
> ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialists
> Allergists/Immunologists
> Eye care professionals
BOTTOM LINE

Eye allergies can be challenging and disruptive to your daily life. Millions of Americans experience the same troublesome symptoms. Don’t think you just have to learn to live with them, though. Being proactive can help you manage your eye allergies in the most effective way possible.16

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REFERENCES

1. Katelaris CH, Bielory L. Evidence-based study design in ocular allergy trials. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;8(5):484-488.

2. Pink eye (conjunctivitis). Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pink-eye/DS00258/DSECTION=causes. 2012. Accessed November 15, 2013.

3. Facts about the cornea and corneal disease. NEI Health Information. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cornealdisease/. 2013. Accessed November 15, 2013.

4. Eye allergies. ACAAI.org. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/eye-allergies/Pages/default.aspx.
Accessed October 17, 2013.

5. Salo, PM. Exposure to multiple indoor allergens in US homes and its relationship to asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008; 121(3):678-684.

6. Bonini S, Sgrulletta T, Coassin M, Bonini S. Allergic conjunctivitis: Update on its pathophysiology and perspectives for future treatment. In: Pawankar R, Holgate ST, Rosenwasser LJ, eds. Allergy Frontiers: Clinical Manifestations. 3rd vol. Tokyo, Japan: Springer. 2009;3:25-48.

7. Almaliotis D, Michailopoulos P, Gioulekas D, Giouleka P. Allergic conjunctivitis and the most common allergens in Northern Greece. World Allergy Organ J. http://www.waojournal.org/content/6/1/12. Accessed October 17, 2013.

8. What are eye allergies? EyeSmart. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/allergies-symptoms.cfm. 2013. Accessed November 14, 2013.

9. Eye allergy symptoms. EyeSmart. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/allergies-symptoms.cfm. 2013. Accessed November 14, 2013.

10. Stewart M, Ferguson BJ, Fromer L. Epidemiology and burden of nasal congestion. Int J Gen Med. 2010;3:37-45.

11. Allergy prevention tips. Pollen.com. http://www.pollen.com/allergy-prevention.asp. Accessed October 17, 2013.

12. Pollen allergies. National Allergy. http://www.natlallergy.com/article.asp?ai=138. Accessed October 17, 2013.

13. Treating Eye Allergies. ACAAI. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/types/eye-allergies/pages/treatment.aspx. 2010. Accessed November 15, 2013.

14. Allergic conjunctivitis. National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmedhealth/PMH0002026/. 2013. Accessed October 17, 2013.

15. Over-the-counter medications. AAFA.org. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=24&cont=346.
Accessed October 18, 2013.

16. Airborne Allergens: Something in the Air. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US Dept of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health; 2003. NIH publication 03-7045.

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