Watering Eyes with Allergies and Hay Fever: Overview
The number of allergy sufferers has increased significantly over the last decades. Particularly at spring time, many people complain of hay fever with watering eyes and other symptoms. The eyes are watering and the conjunctiva is irritated, and frequently, conjunctivitis is also triggered. The nose is streaming and some patients are also suffering from asthma.The watering eyes are caused by an allergic reaction to pollen and other allergens. Watering eyes can be remedied by avoiding the agent of the allergic reaction. If this is not possible, eye drops with special anti-allergenic compounds can alleviate watering eyes.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is not a disease as such, but rather an excessive defence reaction of the body. The immune system erroneously reacts to unspecific but actually harmless allergens. Common causes of allergy are for instance flower pollen, insect venom, foodstuffs, animal hairs and other triggers. This causes a subsequent inflammation, which manifests most notably at the entrance route of the allergens, which are the mucous membranes of eyes, nose and throat.
Histamine is the most familiar mediator of allergy related inflammations. This substance is produced by the body. Everyone knows the unpleasant result of touching stinging nettles - these contain histamines which trigger skin swelling, overheating and irritations as well as uncomfortable itchiness. Histamine is also chiefly responsible for the typical complaints of hay fever. In the eye, histamine mediates irritations and conjunctivitis with increased tear production and strongly watering eyes.
Watering Eyes, Running Nose and Asthma
Typical allergy symptoms with hay fever are:
Irritation of the conjunctiva and conjunctivitis with itchy, reddened and watering eyes
Swelling and irritation of the eye lids
Increased tear production, tears
Eyes are dry or are feeling dry
Apart from watering eyes, further allergic reactions of the respiratory tracts are common:
Blocked, itchy, watering nose, excessive sneezing
Bronchitis or asthma
The extent of hay fever symptoms such as watering eyes, sneezing attacks and so forth vary between people. Symptom strength also depends on the varying amount of pollen present in the air.
Allergies do not just make themselves felt through watering eyes, but can also occur on the skin. More often than not, the body reacts with reddening, swelling and itching as well as pustules or blotches on the skin.
An allergic shock is a particularly severe allergic reaction. This life-threatening condition occurs in particularly vulnerable people, for instance in response to insect bites or as a reaction to drugs. However, an allergic shock can basically occur in the context of any allergy.
Hay Fever and its Symptoms
Watering eyes and other symptoms of hay fever should be taken seriously and treated adequately. After several years of hay fever allergic asthma can be triggered. Symptoms such as watering eyes can also shift to the lower airways and affect lungs and bronchia, a phenomenon known as “progression” by the specialists.
Infants with hay fever carry a clearly increased risk to develop asthma. 40 % of people with allergy who are suffering symptoms all year round later develop asthma. Another cause of hay fever is a genetic predisposition. Children born into families of allergy sufferers have a higher-than-average likelihood of being affected by allergies themselves.
Watering Eyes Remedies
Avoidance of substances or causes triggering the allergy is the most helpful factor in controlling allergy symptoms. Especially with pollen, this is not always feasible. Therefore, watering eyes are often treated with medicines.
A number of different medications are used to stem excessive tear production in the eyes, for example eye drops. Your ophthalmologist can advise you about the best treatment applicable to your particular case of watering eyes:
Eye drops with special anti-allergic compounds such as azelastine relieve the symptoms of watering eyes and stop excessive tear production. Cromoglicate eye drops are also used to treat symptoms.
Antihistamines offer another treatment option: Pills, drops or sprays contain an anti-allergic drug which suppresses the formation of the allergy-mediating histamine. This lessens irritations to the eye, excessive tear production and tears.
Are you also suffering from allergy symptoms affecting the eye such as irritation of the eyes with excessive tear production? Consult your ophthalmologist to check if this is caused by an allergy or by hay fever. He can advise you on allergy treatments and treatments for hay fever affecting the eyes. Your doctor will be able to chose an appropriate treatment for you and recommend suitable medical preparations or eye drops.
Should hay fever have already developed into asthma, a thorough examination and clarification of allergy triggers is as important as a consistent therapy. This treatment has to also be agreed with your doctors and should be checked regularly.