What’s the Difference Between Dry Eye Syndrome And Seasonal Allergies?
Spring has sprung which likely means that if you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, your symptoms have sprung as well. Another common issue that may plague your eyes is Dry Eye Syndrome. We’re here to tell you the key differences between Dry Eye and seasonal allergy symptoms plus treatment options for both.
If you’ve suffered from seasonal allergies before it’s likely you know the symptoms. The key symptom that makes it different from Dry Eye Syndrome is itchiness. When your eyes are experiencing an allergic reaction to an allergen, like pollen, histamine is released by your body making your eyes itchy, teary, and red.
Dry Eye Disease is usually caused by one of three issues or a combination of them:
- Lack of saline water
- Dysfunctional Meibomian oil glands
- Inflammation of the glands that make the saline water and oil
Because your tears aren’t just made up of water so this is what causes the dry feeling the condition is named for. Common symptoms associated with dry eye disease may include sensitivity to light, dryness, the feeling of a foreign body in the eye, fluctuating vision, eye fatigue, and excess watering.
Depending upon which condition is giving your eyes issues, your treatment will vary. For seasonal allergies, an antihistamine is often enough. For dry eye, you have a few options we can try to begin with. First, artificial tears and ointments are good temporary treatments that can provide relief by lubricating the eyes.
Other options include:
- Lipiflow is a thermal pulsation system for treating evaporative dry eye caused by poor tear quality. LipiFlow applies controlled heat to the inner eyelids to open blocked Meibomian glands, improving the quality of the patient’s tears and alleviating dry eye.
- Restasis/Xidra are types of eye drop medications that can help to minimize the symptoms of dry eye.
- Punctal Plugs helps to block the drainage system so your tears don’t drain fast.
If your eyes are giving you issues, we’d love to help you discuss possible treatment options. Schedule an appointment with us here.