Dry eyes and allergies go hand in hand, and one can complicate the other. It’s easy to confuse the symptoms of dry eye disease and allergic conjunctivitis (ocular allergies), especially when seasonal changes worsen dry eye symptoms. At Laser Eye Center™, our vision care specialists offer dry eye treatment with BlephEx and iLux and can help determine the cause of your eye concerns.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
A healthy tear film relies on an adequately lubricated cornea (surface layer of the eye) with a good quantity and quality of tears. The tear film is made up of oil, water and mucous layers, and dry eye symptoms occur when there’s a disruption in the tear film and evaporation. Meibomian gland dysfunction is the most common cause of dry eye disease, but age and medications such as antihistamines and decongestants can worsen or cause dry eyes. Environmental factors, including allergens, smoke, chemicals and low humidity, can exacerbate dry eye.
Do You Have Symptoms of Dry Eye or Allergies?
Allergic conjunctivitis is different from dry eye disease and happens when you are exposed to specific allergens, triggering histamine release, inflammation and swelling as an immune response. The most common allergens include pollen, dust, mold, smoke and dander. If you have dry eyes already, treating allergies with antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Claritin, may worsen symptoms.
The main distinction between eye allergies and dry eye syndrome is the intensity of itching. While dry eyes may come with mild to moderate itching, allergens often intensify the urge to itch and rub the eyes. However, symptoms of both can overlap, including watery eyes, light sensitivity, blurry vision, redness and blurry vision.
These issues are so closely linked that having dry eye disease can make you more susceptible to eye allergies and vice versa. The airborne particles that trigger seasonal allergies cause eye inflammation and dry eyes. People with dry eye syndrome with poor tear film quality don’t have the lubricating protection of tears to protect against allergens.
Treatments for Dry Eyes in Los Angeles
Laser Eye Center™ offers the latest technology and treatments for fighting dry eye syndrome as well as allergies. These proven solutions have been found to relieve both dry eye and allergy symptoms by offering lasting relief that encourages natural tear film production. iLux treatment takes less than 30 minutes and warms the internal oil glands that line eyelids to gently express blocked oil and improve tear film. BlephEx works in tandem to iLux, serving to remove years of bacterial biofilm and debris that collects under the eyelids and thus enhancing lid margin hygiene.
If you struggle with dry eyes and seasonal allergies, our eye care specialists can help improve your symptoms and vision. Contact Laser Eye Center™ in Los Angeles to schedule your eye exam and dry eye treatment consultation. Call our office at (800) 805-2737 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.
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