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Are you sneezing and congested? Are your eyes watery and red? Perhaps you have seasonal allergies. About 20 percent of adults and children in the United States suffer from allergies. It’s the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States.

Part of allergy suffering can include red, teary eyes or painful inner eyelids. This can be associated with seasonal springtime allergies or even summer and fall allergies. Red watery eyes, inflamed inner eyelids, blurred vision, a scratchy feeling in the eyes and sometimes a puss-like or watery discharge can also be related to cosmetic, animal or fabric allergic reactions as well.  However, eye inflammation or conjunctivitis can have other causes and need to be diagnosed before treatment begins.

The three main types of conjunctivitis are allergic, infectious and chemical, although other types do exist. The infectious type, commonly called “pink eye,” can be caused by a contagious virus, bacteria or in rare cases a fungus. Only bacterial conjunctivitis should be treated with antibiotic eye drops. The most common form of infectious conjunctivitis, caused by viruses, does not respond to antibiotics. They must be fought off by your body’s immune system.

Irritants like air pollution, noxious fumes and chlorine in swimming pools may produce the chemical form of conjunctivitis, as can cleaning and other products accidentally exposed to the eye.

For contact lens wearers, allergy season can present a more difficult predicament. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort. Allergens can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your eyes, which bind to your contacts and also become uncomfortable.

Eye drops can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. However, certain drops can discolor or damage certain lenses, so give us a call before trying a new brand. Another alternative for dealing with allergies and irritated eyes is opting to use daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded nightly. Because these lenses are replaced each day, irritating deposits cannot build up over time and cause or heighten allergy-related discomfort.

Please give us a call at 908-281-0800 if you experience seasonal or year-round ocular allergy symptoms.