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Eye allergies are known as allergic conjunctivitis. Like other allergic reactions, allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the immune system attempts to fend off invaders but misfires. This can be due to the body thinking ordinary air particles are harmful when they are not.  Some people have eye allergies seasonally, while others experience it year-round.
Because they are fairly common, there are many medications available to treat their symptoms. Some commonly prescribed eye drops include Azopt (brinzolamide), Patanol (olopatadine), and Zaditor. Lotemax (loteprednol) and Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic) are often used to treat eye allergy symptoms as well. Read on to find out how you can relieve eye allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
It is fairly simple to determine if you have an eye allergy. Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis typically start as soon as the eyes come into contact with the allergen, but they can be delayed for two to four days. Allergic conjunctivitis will likely cause:
- A burning sensation
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Eye soreness
- Light sensitivity
- Swollen eyelids
These symptoms will often be accompanied by other allergy symptoms such as a stuffy nose and sneezing. Many allergens can trigger these symptoms. Identifying and removing the trigger is the first step to relief. 
Triggers of Eye Allergies
If you find that your eye allergies flare up more when you are outdoors, your allergic conjunctivitis may be seasonal. You may be sensitive to pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds. Cigarette smoke and car exhaust can trigger flareups when you are outdoors as well. If you experience symptoms indoors, dust, dust mites, mold, or pet dander may be the triggers. If you wear makeup or perfume, chemical ingredients may be what is causing your allergies. Some people develop an allergic reaction to their contact lenses after some time. To combat these triggers, you can try:
- Keeping the windows closed during high pollen periods
- Using a dehumidifier to control mold
- Washing your bed covers frequently to limit exposure to dust mites
- Washing your hands after interacting with pets
- Wearing glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen while giving your eyes a break from contact lenses 
If your symptoms are mild, you may choose to treat an eye allergy from home. For immediate relief of itchy eyes, many have found that applying a warm compress is effective. If your eyes are warm and swollen, you may want to try a cold compress instead. 
b. Chamomile Tea
Some have reported chamomile to have soothing properties. To try this remedy, mix a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers or chamomile teabag into a cup of hot water. After steeping and straining, let the tea cool before applying it around your eyes with a cotton pad.
c. Cucumber and Aloe Vera
Cucumbers may be effective in reducing irritation and inflammation because they are high in antioxidants. Chill a cucumber for about ten minutes before using two slices and placing them on your closed eyelids. For aloe vera, you can use frozen cubes or its juice to relieve eye irritation. Just make sure to thoroughly was the aloe vera off afterward because it can be quite sticky and leave an irritating residue.
Potatoes have an astringent effect, meaning they can cause the pores in your skin to contract. By doing so, potatoes can help reduce eye inflammation in around 15 minutes. To try this remedy, apply slices as you would with a cucumber, leaving it on for 10-15 minutes before gently cleaning any juice off your face. Of the several home remedies available, using potatoes to treat itchiness is reported to have the highest success rate. When it comes to trying natural treatment methods, talk to your doctor first to ensure nothing gets in the way of an existing treatment plan. 
Diagnosis and Treatment
Tests are rarely necessary because your doctor should be able to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis by examining the appearance of the eye. If symptoms worsen, home remedies may not be enough to relieve irritation and pain. Your doctor will be able to prescribe eye drops or tear supplements like Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic). Antihistamine eye drops like Patanol (olopatadine) can also reduce watery eyes and relieve itching.  Eye allergies and eye infections may display very similar symptoms, so it is critical you receive a proper diagnosis so that you can start the right treatment plan.
The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.