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Eye allergies are overreactions of the body's immune system when certain substances come in contact with the eyes of sensitive individuals.
These allergy-causing substances (called allergens) can include dust, pollen, mold and animal dander. Certain ingredients in cosmetics and eye drops also can cause eye allergies in some individuals.
The most common signs and symptoms of eye allergies include red eyes, swollen eyelids, itchy eyes and excessive tearing.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications each have their advantages; for example, over-the-counter products often are less expensive, while prescription ones usually are stronger and might be more effective.
In fact, with extended use, the blood vessels can become dependent on the vasoconstrictor to stay small. When you discontinue the eye drops, the vessels might actually get bigger than they were in the first place. This process is called rebound hyperemia, and the result is that your red eyes worsen over time.
Even if you are a successful contact lens wearer, allergy season can make your contacts uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort.
Allergens also can stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears that bind to your contacts, adding to your discomfort and allergy symptoms.
Ask your eye doctor about eye drops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Certain drops can discolor or damage contact lenses, so ask your doctor first before trying out a new brand.
Another alternative is daily disposable contact lenses, which are designed to be worn once, and then discarded at the end of the day. Because you replace them daily, these lenses are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or heighten allergy-related discomfort.
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