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Is It Eye Allergies or Dry Eye?

dry eye syndrome eye doctor in whitehall pa

Visit Your LensCrafters Eye Doctor Near You for Diagnosis

You know the symptoms – itchy, swollen, burning and bloodshot pink eyes – but you don’t know what is causing your painful vision? Is it eye allergies or dry eye syndrome? Although the symptoms are similar, the conditions are very different. A thorough eye exam from your Whitehall LensCrafters optometrist, serving Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem, PA, will provide you with a precise diagnosis and effective treatment.

Dry Eye Specialist Near You

What is dry eye, and how is it treated? Your Whitehall eye doctors explain:

Tears are composed of three layers: lipids, water, and mucin. When this composition is out of balance and there isn’t enough of one of these parts, dry eye occurs. Much of the time, dry eye syndrome is due to insufficient lipids, which are necessary for slowing down the evaporation rate of your tears. Consequently, you experience burning and red or pink eyes. Some people sense a feeling like there is sand stuck beneath their eyelids. Another symptom is watery eyes, caused by reflex tearing. Sometimes eye surgeries such as LASIK also causes dry eye.

Typical treatments for dry eye include:

  • Lubricating eye drops or ointments. A variety of nonprescription drugs are available, and it is best to check with our dry eye specialist in Whitehall to find out which type is right for you.
  • Nutritional supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids
  • Treatment for clogged Meibomian glands, which are responsible for the natural manufacture of lipids.

Eye Allergies – Treatment from an Eye Care Center You

Itchiness is the most usual symptom of eye allergies, along with inflammation and redness. When you have eye allergies, your system is reacting to a substance that is not generally harmful, yet your body perceives it as harmful. This substance, known as an allergen, reacts with your mast cells and histamine is released. Histamine is the culprit behind all those nasty symptoms of eye allergies. Pollen, dust mites, and pet dander are the most common allergens.

We treat many patients who suffer from eye allergies, and the first helpful advice we share is not to rub your eyes! Eye rubbing is a great way to spread allergens and make your symptoms worse. Usual treatment for eye allergies includes:

  • Antihistamine/mast cell stabilizer eye drops, which prevent the release of histamine
  • Avoidance of contact with the troublesome allergen, whenever possible
  • Cool compresses held gently against your eyes
  • Artificial lubricants – ask our LensCrafters optometrist which is the best over-the-counter medication for your condition.

When Dry Eye & Eye Allergies Strike Together

These two painful conditions often occur simultaneously and play off each other. Unfortunately, the lack of a healthy tear film will exacerbate the symptoms of eye allergies. That’s because tears dilute and flush allergens out of your eyes. Moisturizing eye drops may help to alleviate the discomfort caused by eye allergies and dry eye.

Eye Emergency Care at Your LensCrafters Near You

If you suffer burning, stinging, swollen eyes or eyelids, redness, pink eye, itchiness, or any other painful eye irritation, contact Dr. Michael Brodsky and Associates to book an urgent eye exam. For over 25 years, our highly trained eye doctors have provided eye care services to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley communities and Bethlehem, PA.

Visiting us is easy! We are located inside the Lehigh Valley Mall LensCrafters – Walk-ins Welcome! Open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  From Allentown, PA, your eye exam is only a 5-minute drive away. If you're coming from Easton or Bethlehem PA, it takes only 15-20 minutes to reach our eye clinic.

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Call Us! 610-200-6611