The eyes are the windows to the soul because they make us see things and reflect our state of mind. However, when our eyes are swollen, itchy, watery, and red from an allergic reaction, a severe problem is often associated. And you can deal with the allergic reactions your eyes may be revealing by considering using natural remedies for eye allergy.
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of eye allergy
- Symptoms of eye allergies
- Causes of eye allergies
- Treatments for eye allergies
- Natural remedies for eye allergy
What is an Eye Allergy?
There is a clear area of the mucus membrane that overlies the eyes – this layer is known as the conjunctiva. Therefore, when an allergic reaction affects the conjunctiva, the reaction is called allergic conjunctivitis. The clear layer of mucus membrane is the same as the mucus membrane that lines the inside surface of the nose.
There are several major subtypes of allergic conjunctivitis, and the most common subtypes are perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC). Both the PAC and SAC occur due to the trigger by the immune reaction involving an allergen and a sensitized person. This means that when a person is allergic to some specific substances like pollen and is exposed to it, the pollen will trigger the person’s allergic reaction.
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
The primary symptom associated with eye allergies is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, resulting from a reaction to allergens. This inflammation leads to blood vessel enlargement in the conjunctiva, eventually leading to a bloodshot or red appearance of the eyes. Eye allergic symptoms can range from mild redness to severe inflammation or swelling associated with discharge.
Besides the fact that irritation and itching are also common symptoms of eye allergies, the following are also added symptoms:
- Mild swelling around the eyes
- The production of mucus
- Matted eyes (usually after waking from sleep)
- Burning sensation
- Most times, symptoms of change in vision, double vision, blurred vision, or pain in the eyes are not evidence of eye allergies, and you should give prompt medical attention to such symptoms.
What Causes Eye Allergies?
Eye allergies often come with other allergic conditions, such as atopic eczema (dermatitis) and allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Therefore, the causes of eye allergies have some similarities with those of hay fever and asthma. In addition, cosmetics and medications also contribute immensely to the causes.
Some eye conditions are usually confused with eye allergy, such as reactions to eye irritants and some other eye conditions (for instance, an infection like pink eye). However, you should know that any irritant, whether manmade, infectious, or environmental, can trigger symptoms associated with eye allergies.
Most allergies occur due to the presence of specific allergens; such common allergens may include the following:
- Pets (especially dogs and cats)
- Dust mites
The following may also be the cause of eye allergies:
- Dry Eye Syndrome: This occurs because of a lack of adequate lubrication and moisture in the eyes.
Infectious Conjunctivitis: This occurs when bacterial and viral infections infect the eyes.
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: You can find the meibomian glands in your lower and upper eyelids. The meibomian glands secrete oil. However, abnormal development or clogging of these glands may lead to insufficient oil in tears. The lack of oil can cause the tears to dry up and lead to irritation and dry eyes.
- Contact Dermatitis: this is a skin condition resulting from environmental conditions.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: This is an allergic reaction resulting from the use of contact lenses that eventually leads to itching.
- Blepharitis: This is a condition that results in the inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis is a result of eyelid mites or staphylococcus bacteria.
The factors listed below can also increase your risk of having eye allergies:
- Medical conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema
- Animal dander, pollen, and dust
- Environmental conditions such as smoking, air conditioning, and dry air
- Spending a long time before a computer system
Treatments for Eye Allergies
There are various over-the-counter medications you can use directly for eye allergies, including nasal corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, and allergic eyedrops. The following are also commonly used options:
- Nasal Steroids
- Fluticasone (Flonase)
- Triamcinolone (Nasacort)
- Oral antihistamines
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Ketotifen (Zaditor)
Prescription eye drops are generally pretty safe and effective since they have few systematic side effects and can be applied topically. You can use most eyedrops once or twice each day; they help relieve symptoms and prevent the surfacing of such symptoms. The following are eyedrops you can try:
- Epistanine (Elestat)
- Nedocromil (Alocril)
- Pemirolast (Alamat)
- Olopatadine (Patanol), and
- Azelastine (Optivar)
Your ophthalmologist may prescribe Cyclosporine A (Restasis), which may help in reducing allergic reaction and/or inflammation.
In the case of a severe reaction, topical ophthalmic corticosteroids may be the solution you need. However, a lot of the older corticosteroids can have eye side effects during long-term use. The latest ophthalmic corticosteroids have very low risks of side effects. Some of these corticosteroids include:
- Fluorometholone (FML Liquifilm, FML Forte, FML)
- Loteprednol 0.02% (Alrex)
- Medrysone (HMS)
- Loteprednol 0.05% (Lotemax)
- Rimexolone (Vexol), and
- Prednisolone (AK-Pred)
10 Natural Remedies for Eye Allergies
Minimizing or eliminating exposure to allergens may result in an excellent improvement in the fight against eye allergy symptoms. Therefore, you may need the help of your allergist to identify the allergens you may need to get rid of. The following are some natural remedies for eye allergy which I feel will be very helpful in dealing with your allergic symptoms. You can try using one or more of them if you know you have an eye allergy.
1. Cucumber Slices
Cucumber has antioxidant properties which reduce the swelling and soothing effect on skin irritation. In addition, cucumber’s cooling effect may be effective in easing the uncomfortable feelings in your eyes.
- Cut a cucumber into slices (ensure that the slices are round)
- Put the round slices over your eyelids (make sure you close your eyes)
- Leave the slices there until they become warm
- Follow this process one or two times each day.
2. Cold Compress
By making use of ice packs topically on your eyes, you will help your Meibomian glands deliver more oil. A cold compress can also help in soothing irritation and itching in the eyes.
An ice pack
- Place an ice pack on the eye suffering the symptoms of an allergy (it could be both eyes, which means that you may need to make use of two ice packs)
- Leave the pack(s) on for about one or two minutes before taking it off
- Repeat the procedure at least two to three times
- You can repeat this as many times as you can each day.
3. Tea Bags
Green tea contains something known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This EGCG improves surface inflammation on dry eyes. Therefore, applying green tea bags topically to the eyes may provide relief from dry and itchy eyes.
Used green tea bags
- Collect tea bags already used for brewing teas
- Put them in a refrigerator for about thirty minutes
- Put them over your eyelids when they are chilled enough
- Leave them there for ten or fifteen minutes before removing them
- You can always do this whenever you feel the signs of symptoms in your eyes or when your eyes begin to itch.
4. Cold Milk
Many people do not know that milk can act as a cold compress. Applying cold milk topically on the eyelids may relieve swelling and itching in the eyes.
- One tablespoon of cold milk
- Cotton pads
- Dip a clean cotton pad in cold milk
- Shut the eye affected and carefully place the soaked pad over the lid
- Leave it on for about a quarter of an hour before removing it
- You can follow this process two or three times each day.
As everyone knows, water is a significant part of life, and it is the best natural medicine there is. For example, you can wash your eyes with water; this may immediately soothe the irritation you are feeling.
- Whenever you have any irritation or itchy feeling in your eyes, you should first run purified water on the eyes. You may not need any medication or other natural remedies for eye allergy. Instead, water may be the solution you need. Sometimes treatments are not complicated.
- You can wash your eyes with water two or three times each day.
6. Witch Hazel
The botanical name of this plant is hamamelis; it possesses natural astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, witch hazel can help alleviate inflammation and itchiness in the eyes.
Witch hazel extract
- Soak cotton pads in witch hazel extract
- Place the pad over your closed eyelids
- Leave the witch hazel compress on for about ten to fifteen minutes
- You can follow this process two times each day for maximum and fast results. Witch hazel is one of the essential natural remedies for eye allergy.
7. Aloe Vera Juice
The outstanding work of aloe vera is often incredibly underrated. Aloe vera contains properties that can help soothe inflammation in the eye. When you apply it topically to your eyes, you will begin to get relief from inflammation and itchy eyes associated with eye allergy symptoms.
Aloe vera juice
- Extract aloe vera juice by grinding or blending
- Refrigerate the juice for about thirty minutes
- Soak a cotton ball in the cold juice
- Place one cotton ball over each eye
- Leave the cotton balls on for about ten to fifteen minutes before removing them
- You can do this whenever and however you can each day.
8. Castor Oil
Castor oil can lubricate the eyes. By lubricating the eye, it would ease the itchy feeling you may be having in your eyes.
Organic castor oil
- Soak your cotton ball in organic castor oil
- Strain the oil from the cotton balls and place the cotton balls on your eyelids
- Allow them to remain there for fifteen minutes
- Remove the cotton balls and then wash your eyes thoroughly with water
- Follow this process one to two times each day.
You can treat your itchy and dry eyes by the use of anti-inflammatory properties. The glycoalkaloids contained in potatoes display anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, topically applying potatoes to your eyes may help reduce swelling and itchiness.
A raw potato
- Put raw potato in your refrigerator
- Cut the potato in circular slices and cover each eye with one slice
- Allow them to remain there for fifteen minutes
- Remove the slice and wash your eyes
- It would be best if you did this two to three times each day.
Having a deficiency in some essential nutrients might worsen your symptoms of eye allergy. For example, vitamins A, C, and E are necessary for the proper functioning of the eyes. Itchy eyes are often an indication of deficiency in vitamin A. both vitamins C and E are essential for the general health of the eyes, and they are also very active in reversing various eye infections.
Green leafy vegetables
Always eat any or all of these vitamin-rich foods.
It would help if you consumed them as often as you could. While these natural remedies for eye allergies may help in reducing inflammation and itchiness in your eyes, there are very high chances of recurrence if you do not follow some basic prevention tips like:
- Protecting your eyes from direct sunlight
- Flushing your eyes with cold water
- Not wearing contact lenses for a long time
- Avoiding wearing contact lenses
- Drinking plenty of water
Whenever you suffer an attack from your allergy, the natural remedies for eye allergy already provided in this post will help you deal with that attack effectively.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.