Allergy Symptoms that Could be Dry Eye Syndrome
Distinguishing between allergy symptoms and dry eye syndrome can be an ongoing challenge. After all, both conditions can certainly have an impact on your day-to-day life. It is important to identify the root problem so that a quality treatment plan can be put in place right away.
In many ways, the two conditions share many of the same symptoms. In order to reach a proper diagnosis, you must first understand the symptoms where the two conditions overlap. What you may assume is allergies may actually be dry eye syndrome. Here are a few symptoms to watch out for.
Itchy eyes can certainly be a common symptom of allergies. After all, common allergens such as pollen, dust, and pet dander can irritate the eyes and cause extensive itching. However, dry eye syndrome can also cause itchy eyes because the eyes are not receiving enough moisture via natural tears. Keep in mind, if you have dry eye syndrome and you rub your eyes, it will momentarily relieve itching because it promotes the production of tears. However, if you have allergies, rubbing your eyes may make the itching even worse.
Burning is also a common allergy symptom. Often, people rub their eyes when they itch, and this can lead to a burning sensation and aggravate the eyes even more. Unfortunately, dry eyes can have the same cause and effect, which can make it difficult to determine which condition you are suffering from.
It’s not uncommon for people who are suffering from allergies also to have red, bloodshot eyes. Dry eyes can also have this symptom because they are dried out and irritated. If you suffer from dry eyes, redness may more likely occur during certain activities such as looking at a phone or other device.
Diagnosing the Condition
In order to properly treat your eye condition, you must first get a correct diagnosis. You should never try to self-diagnose because this is incredibly difficult to do and often inaccurate. Instead, rely on medical professionals to help you accurately identify the problem. You’ll need to receive a thorough eye exam in order to rule out dry eye syndrome. There are a few questions that you may need to answer to readily identify which condition you have. Such as:
Do you have a family history of allergies or dry eye?
Do you notice more itching and redness after doing certain activities such as mowing the grass or petting your dog?
Do you notice your symptoms more when you are focused on a device?
When you rub your eyes, do the symptoms feel momentarily better or worse?
Your answers will help your medical provider narrow down the root cause of your problem and offer viable treatment solutions.
If you do have dry eye syndrome, there are treatment options available. Commonly, the first line of defense is to start taking an over-the-counter natural tear solution. You may also want to use a humidifier so that the air is not too dry. You should also take regular breaks from the computer or phone screen, and avoid wearing your contact lenses for too long. Don’t forget to check the side effects of your medication to make sure that dry eye is not a symptom of it. Your doctor will be able to provide even more guidance for treatment.
Are you unsure if you suffer from allergy symptoms or dry eye syndrome? There’s no need to let the mystery continue! Contact us today to schedule a consultation for a thorough eye exam.