Eye Allergies

Omar Shakir, MD, MBA -  - Ophthalmologist

Coastal Eye Surgeons

Omar Shakir, MD, MBA

Ophthalmologist & Fellowship Trained Retina Specialist located in Greenwich, CT

Red, itchy, and watery eyes may all be signs of eye allergies. At Coastal Eye Surgeons in Greenwich, Connecticut, experienced ophthalmologist Omar Shakir, MD, MBA, offers personalized treatment for eye allergies, including allergy tests, so you don’t have to guess what’s causing your symptoms. To schedule an allergy test, call the office or use the online booking tool.

Eye Allergies Q & A

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What are the symptoms of eye allergies?

When you have an allergy, your body overreacts to substances in your environment that are generally harmless. Allergic reactions mean that your immune system is trying to destroy the foreign substance to protect you. This results in swelling, inflammation, and other bothersome symptoms.

When you hear about allergies, you may think of nasal symptoms. It’s true that allergies can cause sneezing, runny nose, and congestion, but they can also affect your eyes. The signs and symptoms of eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Burning

You usually have nasal symptoms at the same time as eye symptoms. However, it’s possible to have eye allergy symptoms independently.

Eye symptoms don’t just happen when your eyes come into direct contact with allergens. They may be part of your body’s natural response to just about any allergen, including pollen, mold, and pet hair.

How does my ophthalmologist diagnose eye allergies?

If you have eye allergy symptoms, Dr. Shakir provides allergy testing to determine your triggers. This process is painless and involves no needles or pricks, just a scratch on your skin. He tests your skin’s response to around 60 allergens, which are specific to the lower Fairfield County and southern Westchester areas.   

Eye allergies aren’t the only cause of symptoms like stinging, burning, and redness. Dr. Shakir may perform an eye exam to rule out other conditions, including dry eye syndrome and viral conjunctivitis. 

How does my ophthalmologist treat eye allergies?

Treatment for eye allergies includes both managing your symptoms and avoiding exposure to allergens. To treat your symptoms, Dr. Shakir may recommend

  • Oral antihistamines, which control allergic reactions
  • Artificial tears eye drops, which relieve dryness and irritation
  • Antihistamine eye drops, both prescription and over the counter 
  • Decongestant eye drops, which reduce redness
  • Steroid eye drops, to calm severe inflammation

Dr. Shakir also gives you guidance on avoiding allergens, which is the best way to control your symptoms and stop them from coming back. For example, he may recommend taking measures to reduce the dust in your home or keeping your windows closed and using air conditioning to stop pollen from cycling in.

To schedule an allergy test, call Coastal Eye Surgeons or use the online booking tool.