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Ocular Allergies

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If your eyes are itching, tearing, burning, or red you may have eye allergies, or what doctors call allergic conjunctivitis. Allergies develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized to something such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold. These are called allergens, and there are many potential allergens in our environment that can come into contact with our eyes. With allergic conjunctivitis, allergens cause the eyes and surrounding tissues to become inflamed and uncomfortable. These symptoms may occur alone, or in combination with general allergic symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or a stuffy nose. There are two main types of eye allergies: Seasonal and Chronic. Seasonal eye allergies are the most common form and occur in the spring or fall when the amount of pollen in the air is very high. Chronic eye allergies are less common, but potentially more severe than seasonal allergies. This form is non-seasonal and occurs continuously throughout the year. Chronic eye allergies may be triggered by dust, mold, pets or other allergens that are present year-round. While ocular allergies may be an ongoing condition, the right treatment from your eye care professional can reduce or eliminate symptoms.

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