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Diagnosis, Treatment, & Prevention Of Eye Allergies With Our Columbia Eye Doctor

Your Columbia eye doctor, Dr. Michael McClay, works with hundreds of patients every year who suffer from dry, red, itchy eyes caused by allergies. While common (and quite bothersome!), eye allergies are manageable with proper diagnosis and treatment. Among our many optometry services, Apex EyeCare provides affordable, comprehensive and effective eye allergy treatment for the people of Columbia, Dentsville, and surrounding communities.

boy with eye allergies before seeing Columbia Optometrist

Common Eye Allergies--And Signs That You May Be Suffering From One

An allergy of any kind is hallmarked by an over-the-top response from your immune system to an external stimulus. There are many different types of eye allergies which can vary in severity, but the primary signs and symptoms include:

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Itchiness

  • Clear, watery discharge

  • Foreign body sensation (the feeling of something in the eye)

  • Photophobia (increased sensitivity to bright light)

The main form of eye allergy is known as allergic conjunctivitis, which is essentially inflammation and irritation of the eye caused by some sort of allergen to which the sufferer is sensitive. Common allergens or environmental triggers include smoke, dust and dust mites, mold, pet dander, pollen, perfumes and colognes, and car exhaust.

  • Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis are the most common types of eye allergies, and typically occur in the spring, summer, or fall when pollination count is high.

  • Atopic keratoconjunctivitis can occur any time of year and typically affects older people and people with a history of dermatitis (an inflammatory skin disease). It is usually associated with severe eye itching and burning, and may also present with thicker, mucous-like discharge that can form a crust around the eyes overnight.

  • Vernal keratoconjunctivitis is less common, more serious, and also may occur year round. Typically, young men and boys are affected, especially those with dermatitis, asthma, or other immune-related disorders.

  • Contact or giant papillary allergic conjunctivitis are caused by contact lens use.

An eye doctor can determine if you have an eye allergy by performing a comprehensive eye exam; an allergist can also give you a specific diagnosis. If you're struggling with any of the above symptoms, it's important to see an eye doctor. If left untreated, allergic conjunctivitis can damage your eyes, cause vision loss, and significantly impact your quality of life.

How Our Columbia Eye Doctor Can Help Relieve Your Eye Allergies

At Apex EyeCare, our approach to managing eye allergies is multifaceted. We want to mitigate the effect of as many factors as possible that are contributing to your uncomfortable itchy eyes. Columbia eye doctor, Dr. Michael McClay, offers these treatments and recommendations:

  • The best way to manage your eye allergy is to minimize or eliminate your exposure to your allergy trigger. Dr. McClay can give you specific recommendations (e.g., keep your house neat and clean, avoid going outside during high pollen days, switch from contact lenses to glasses, etc.) based on your specific eye allergy.

  • Good hygiene is critical to avoid infection and irritation of the eye. Avoid rubbing or itching your eyes, and always wash your hands thoroughly before and after you do touch your eyes. 

  • Dr. McClay may prescribe you medicated eye drops to relieve your symptoms, reduce inflammation, flush out allergens, and provide moisture to your eyes. He may also recommend other medications--including over-the-counter antihistamines or nasal sprays--to provide additional symptom relief.

Can't See Clearly Because Of Dry, Red, Itchy Eyes? Talk To Our Optometrist In Columbia Today For Help!

Eye allergies can be extremely frustrating and can be quite disruptive to your daily life. If you're tired of struggling with irritated, inflamed, and itchy eyes, call Apex EyeCare today to request an eye exam with our optometrist in Columbia, SC. We're privileged to serve Columbia, Dentsville, and surrounding areas. Call (803) 741-7177 today and be sure to ask about our current special offers, including 50% off your second pair of eyeglasses frames!