Dry Eye vs. Seasonal Allergies: Which Am I Suffering From?

Dry Eye vs. Seasonal Allergies: Which Am I Suffering From?

Dry Eye vs. Seasonal Allergies: Which Am I Suffering From?

Dry Eye vs. Seasonal Allergies: Which Am I Suffering From?

Seasonal changes can cause eye irritation, affecting one's ability to enjoy the outdoors. The climate or temperatures can trigger allergies and exacerbate dry eye symptoms as well. If you experience itchy, dry, or watery eyes, you likely want to know the reason for your discomfort. 

You may have allergies or dry eye which are both common eye conditions with several similar symptoms. The first step in finding an effective treatment is establishing the cause of the symptoms.


Dry Eye Syndrome 


Dry eye is a relatively common condition characterized by eyes that fail to produce enough tears. In some cases, the tears produced are of poor quality and do not provide adequate lubrication. 


Seasonal changes can exacerbate dry eye symptoms due to increased air conditioning, fans, and other equipment use. Certain medications can also worsen the symptoms. If not treated, chronic dry eye can lead to vision loss. 


Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome 


Symptoms of the condition include:


  • A gritty eye sensation

  • A sensation of something in the eye

  • Excessive tearing

  • Eye redness

  • Blurry vision

  • Stringy eye discharge


Seasonal Allergies 


Seasonal allergies, also known as ocular allergies, occur when an individual is allergic to certain substances. The substances trigger the immune system, causing various symptoms. Common allergens, such as dust, are present all year round, but others, like pollen and plant spores, are seasonal. 


They often flourish in spring and fall. If you have nasal allergies, you are more likely to suffer from ocular allergies.


Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies


The symptoms include:


  • Swollen eyelids

  • Itchy eyes

  • Eye redness

  • Sensitivity to light


Dry Eye vs. Seasonal Allergies 


If you experience eye discomfort, it is essential to find out what you are suffering from so that you can put a stop to it. While some symptoms are similar, others are specific to one condition. 

If your symptoms are not connected to particular allergens and appear all year round, you may have dry eye. You likely have seasonal allergies if you experience intense itchiness accompanied by a runny nose or sneezing. An eye exam will help determine what you are suffering from. 


Treating Dry Eye or Allergies 

Treatment for dry eye symptoms involves using remedies such as artificial tears or eye drops. Other treatments help address the cause of dry eye, such as meibomian gland dysfunction. Therapies such as LipiFlow® can provide long-term relief.

Treating seasonal allergies involves using antihistamines, eye drops, and allergy medication. Avoiding allergens and making lifestyle changes are vital to providing relief. 

Regular eye exams are vital for maintaining vision health. Treating any underlying eye condition is the best way to reduce uncomfortable symptoms. An eye specialist can properly diagnose the eye condition and recommend the best treatment. The exam can address any vision issues and screen for problems that affect eye health and vision. 


For more information on dry eye and seasonal allergies, contact Chroma Optics at our Burlington, Vermont office. Call (802) 497-1676 to schedule an appointment today.

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