Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care

Eye Center & Medical Aesthetics Center located in Lake City, FL, Live Oak, FL & Gainesville, FL

Uncomfortable allergy symptoms like itchy, red, and watery eyes can get in the way of your day. The optometrists and vision specialists of Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care provide effective treatments to combat eye allergies and relieve symptoms at three locations in Lake City, Live Oak, and Gainesville, Florida. Learn more about allergy triggers, symptoms, and treatments by calling the office or using the convenient online scheduling tool.

Allergies Q & A

What are eye allergies?

Eye allergies (allergic conjunctivitis) are common and happen when your eyes react to an allergen that irritates them. The symptoms of eye allergies include light sensitivity and dry, red, itchy, burning, and watery eyes.

Your eyes produce a substance called histamine that fights off the allergen. Most people with eye allergies have nasal allergies and sinus congestion as well, such as coughing, sneezing, headache, and a sore throat.

What are some of the most common allergy triggers?

Some of the most common allergy triggers include:

  • Smoke
  • Plant spores
  • Pollen
  • Molds
  • Certain chemical cleaning products
  • Skin products, eye care, and makeup
  • Hairsprays and other cosmetic products
  • Animal dander
  • Cockroaches
  • Food allergies
  • Dust mites
  • Insect sting
  • Medications
  • Food additives

Consistently dry and red eyes can indicate excessive inflammation of the eyes (uveitis). Uveitis is a sign of certain underlying diseases, such as psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Allergies can also lead to problems with your breathing or sleep apnea and snoring.

What are the treatments for allergies?

Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care offers effective treatment methods for allergies and allergy symptoms. Your optometrist usually checks for signs of infection and evaluates your eyes with a comprehensive exam and a slit-lamp microscope to check for signs of eye allergies, such as swollen blood vessels on the surface of your eye. Your optometrist might look for a specific type of white blood cell in your eye by gently scraping a tiny area of the conjunctiva to test the tissue.

Medications are typically designed to lower inflammation, block your histamine receptors, and prevent allergic reactions. Your optometrist might suggest decongestants, over-the-counter eye drops, oral antihistamines, mast-cell stabilizers, corticosteroids, or immunotherapy shots.

Artificial tears can soothe and moisten dry and irritated eyes and give you much-needed relief.

If your eyes are itching severely, you need a medication that’s fast acting, such as a steroid eye drop. Prescription-strength antihistamine eye drops are especially beneficial.

Avoid rubbing your eyes and when you’re outside, wear sunglasses or eyeglasses to protect your eyes from allergens like pollen.

Find out how to take control of your allergies and call Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care or book online today.