The National Eye Institute confirms that many people experience seasonal eye allergies and dry eye syndrome. During the fall season, the two conditions may occur at the same time. Knowing how to differentiate them can help you get the remedy that you need. Here are the details that you should know if you want to know the difference between fall eye allergies and dry eye.
Eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis are not contagious at all. The itchiness of the eyes is the most obvious symptom. This may become so severe that you may start rubbing your eyes. The constant rubbing can lead to redness and tearing. The absence of itching could be a symptom of another condition.
Fall allergies can show puffiness underneath and around the eyelids. In some cases, an individual may develop allergic shiners. Light sensitivity may also occur. Eyes become watery as well. This can worsen the redness and burning sensation.
Dry eye syndrome leads to a severe form of extreme dryness. This can create an unbearable burning sensation. The lack of tears that lubricate the eyes causes this. In a way, dry eyes are similar to allergies because of the burning sensation and redness.
Insufficient tears do not cause these dry eye symptoms. Without treatment, dry eye syndrome can result in vision problems. This can result in blurry vision and light sensitivity. Severe cases may lead to permanent eye damage.
This is a common occurrence during the fall, just like other seasonal allergies. Allergen exposure triggers the production of IgEs (immunologic antibodies). These antibodies connect to your conjunctiva’s mast cells that contain histamines. Once the histamines activate, the allergy spikes.
Histamine’s presence results in eyelid swelling, tearing, and redness. A fall eye allergy often makes you rub your eyes. Constant rubbing contributes to the swelling. Eye doctors say that if what you have does not itch at all, it is not an allergy.
You may not experience the symptoms of fall eye allergies at first. You may forget that you have eye allergies during the off-season. This is when the eye doctor must ask about any trigger in your environment. Common ones are grass, molds, and animal dander. Knowing the triggers can confirm if what you have is a fall eye allergy.
Lacking at least one of the three components of tear film causes dry eye syndrome. When tears lack the right components, the tears evaporate right away. There could also be an underproduction of tears. Many factors contribute to dry eye syndrome. A few of them are dehydration, environmental elements, and medications. Systemic conditions like lupus are also connected with dry eye.
It can be challenging to diagnose this eye condition because the symptoms tend to be different for each patient. Common symptoms are grittiness, photophobia, and dryness. Tearing is a symptom as well because your body is compensating for the lack of eye lubrication. Reflex tearing may also occur from environmental stimuli, such as strong gusts of wind.
Fall eye allergies and dry eye need proper treatment. At Advanced Eyecare Central Coast, we provide proper diagnoses and treatments for any eye condition. Please visit our clinic in Pismo Beach, California, for an in-person consultation. Feel free to call us at 805-773-6000 to set an appointment or ask about our fall eye allergy or dry eye treatment packages.