Eye allergies can be extremely irritating, painful and just plain annoying. But, it’s just your body defending you. An eye allergy is the body’s natural response to a foreign invader. The immune system will recognize the allergen as something dangerous, when in fact it is not.
The response is itchy, watery, red eyes that can puff and swell. This reaction is the body’s attempt to eliminate the foreign substance. Anyone with eye allergies should understand that they are no different than other types of allergies. They are simply an overreaction produced by the body’s immune system.
There are many common allergies, which can be easily treated with various methods. The most common treatment methods include medical drugs, avoiding the irritant and natural remedies. Additionally, there are tons of tests that are performed to determine the cause of an allergy, which aids the treatment process.
Causes of Eye Allergies
The most common causes of an eye allergy, or allergen, includes: molds, pollen, dust, mites, hair, grass, trees, etc. Typically these items become airborne and when they come in contact with the eyes, an allergic reaction ensues. An eye allergy will not cause any lasting or permanent damage to a person’s eyesight. They are unpleasant, but not harmful in any way.
If an allergy sufferer opts to put something in their eye for treatment, they should ensure they are aware of the proper way to do so. If done improperly, the eye could be damaged, causing more harm than good. Additionally, not all natural cures will work for everyone. It is a process of trial and error to find a method that works.
Natural Treatment Remedies
Typically, a natural remedy for eye allergies will not contain any dangerous chemicals or other ingredients that could be harmful. Exploring the options will help allergy sufferers find a natural source of relief for their eye symptoms.
This is a popular natural remedy for eye allergies, and one that has been used for generations. The proper application is three to four drops in each eye and then holding the eyes closed for a few minutes to allow the water to work.
The most common homeopathic remedy is a mixture of honey and Indian gooseberry powder. This is not applied to the eye, but rather eaten each night in order to increase a person’s immunity. This is only one example of homeopathic remedies that are used, however they will typically contain a herb and other natural ingredient.
A cold compress can be created with washcloths and towels, or with cold spoons. Placing the spoons in the freezer prior to use will offer longer lasting results. This method only provides temporary relief, but can be very effective.
Warm Salt Water
Wiping the eyes with a cotton ball or cotton cloth dipped in warm salt water can also help relieve eye allergies. The salt in the water combats the histamines that have been released causing the initial reaction.
Repeated Eye Rinsing
If a person has a persistent eye allergy, they can try a cold water flush. Repeatedly rinsing the eyes with cold water may remove the offending substance, thus eliminating the allergy.
Be Aware of Pollen Counts
Most news and weather channels provide local pollen counts. However, a general rule of thumb is that if a person suffers from allergies they should stay inside mid-morning and early evening, when pollen counts are typically at their max. Additionally, turn off air conditioners, ceiling fans and shut all windows. Wear glasses outdoors, which can help block the pollen from coming in contact with the eyes.
No, we don’t mean stop cleaning entirely! But it is a good idea to use a damp mop, rather than sweeping, when you suffer from allergies. This is mainly because sweeping will stir up the allergens.
It is also a good idea to eliminate old carpets and rugs and replace them with hardwood, tile or other types of flooring that will not trap and hold allergens. This is especially helpful is a household has pets.
Reduce the Chance of Mold
By keeping the humidity inside the home under 50 percent, it will help prevent the growth of mold. In many cases this will require the use of a dehumidifier, especially in areas that tend to stay damp, such as the basement.
The best method for preventing eye allergies is to avoid the allergen altogether. However, this is rarely possible. If a person is unsure of the cause of their eye allergy, they should seek testing, which may help find the proper method of treatment. In most cases, a natural remedy will provide effective results, however it may be a process of trial and error.
In addition to using natural remedies, here are some tips that can help those prone to eye allergies avoid them altogether:
- Don’t allow dust and dirt to accumulate on surfaces.
- Avoid rubbing or squeezing eyes for relief.
- Wear protective eye wear when venturing outdoors.
- Limit computer and TV usage to 20 minutes at a time.
- Don’t use contacts as they will aggravate the allergy.
- Cover pillows with covers that are specially designed to be allergen impermeable. Additionally, it is important to wash bed sheets often and replace older mattresses, as they can become breeding areas for different allergens.
- Don’t allow pets in beds and keep them outside when possible.
- Avoid eye strain by reading in well-lit areas.
These tips and suggestions can help those who suffer from eye allergies find relief without having to use medications or other chemicals. The histamines that are released is the body’s natural way to defend against foreign substances, however can cause uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms.
These symptoms can become worse with continued exposure to the source, which is why sufferers should use the tips to help eliminate the exposure they have to the allergen. Being proactive about eye allergies and using natural remedies can help reduce and possibly eliminate the symptoms all together.