As if allergies were not bad enough with all the sniffling, nose blowing, blurry eyes, and sneezing, they can also lead to some pretty ugly side effects. Many of these changes affect the eyes, and the team at Magruder Laser Vision wants to give you a better understanding of changes considered usual and those that may require a visit to your ophthalmologist.
Dark Circles Under Your Eyes
Discoloration under your eyes is generally due to the blood vessels under your eyes, which have expanded slightly to allow free passage of blood to the affected area. The puffiness is edema, or a small bit of fluid that normally escapes from the blood vessels when an area is injured or infected. Unless these symptoms impede your vision, you do not need to see an ophthalmologist.
This lymph tissue at the back of the throat extends behind the nose. Lymph nodes and tissues become enlarged when an allergy is present, and the effect for you can be a tired or drowsy appearance. Although, not generally a cause for a visit to your ophthalmologist.
Swollen, Red, or Itchy Eyes
If allergens enter your eye, white blood cells may invade and set up defensive measures. This causes your eyes to itch and the eyes to take on a reddish tint. If over-the-counter eye drops do not work, call your ophthalmologist.
Any infection that comes between your contacts and your eyes can spread from one surface to the other and harbor bacteria for an extended time. If your vision blurs, remove your contacts and call your doctor. Any blurred vision without contacts that does not self-correct also requires an office visit.
Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis
Some forms of conjunctivitis (an infection of the conjunctiva, or eye and eyelid covering) are highly contagious. Unless you are absolutely sure yours is not contagious, it might be time to call your doctor.
Keep your eyes healthy all year with yearly exams, so your ophthalmologist can determine how your eyes appear normally, as opposed to how it is altered during an allergic reaction. Check out our blog page for information on keeping your eyes healthy all year.