If you’re one of the millions who suffer from allergies, you’ll be asking the question, “why do my eyes itch?”. As spring moves in, tons of allergens start to become present in the environment. These allergens stimulate special cells called mast cells to release histamine which causes the classic itch symptom as well as swollen, red, and watery eyes. This is a type of pink eye called allergic conjunctivitis. 

The good news is allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and is easy to manage. There are special eye drops we can prescribe that are anti-histamine and mast cell stabilizers. This stops the itch immediately and attacks the source of the problem. Additionally, make sure to wash your hair and face at night and clean your pillowcase to reduce allergen exposure. Cool compresses constrict vessels and limit histamine exposure. If you wear contact lenses, there are special cleaners that remove allergens and daily contacts may be necessary during this time of year. 

If you have any questions or comments about itchy eyes, please send an email to drlillie@familyvisionoptical.com.