Ocular Allergies Specialist

Galleria Vision Center

Optometry located in Dallas, TX

Ocular allergies are never fun. That’s why Dr. Youngson Joe, OD at Galleria Vision Center helps men, women, and families in or around Dallas, Texas manage their allergic reactions through expert and comprehensive ocular care. Contact the office today by phone or online to learn more about how you can both identify your allergies and find the most effective treatment plan to combat them.

Ocular Allergies

What are ocular allergies?

Also called allergic conjunctivitis, ocular allergies occur when your eyes react to irritants — in this case to an allergen. You’re more likely to have ocular allergies if they run in your family or you live in an environment your body doesn’t respond well to.

When exposed to allergens, your eyes secrete histamine to fight them off. Histamine in itself shouldn’t negatively impact you, but your eye is more sensitive than the rest of your body, so the histamine secretion can lead to general discomfort.

The most common allergens include:

  • Pet dander
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Certain perfumes
  • Foods
  • Mold

You might also have an allergic reaction to certain chemicals in lubricating eyes drops. In this case, Dr. Joe recommends preservative-free drops.

What are the symptoms of ocular allergies?

In most cases, the histamine your eyes secrete can lead to redness, swelling, or itchy eyes; burning or tearing; sensitivity to light; watery eyes; and grittiness.

Because the eye and nose are linked, you might also have a stuffy or itchy nose. Additionally, these nasal and ocular reactions can result in headaches, a sore throat, and coughing.

Understanding the cause of your symptoms is at the top of Dr. Joe’s priorities. This enables her to make an adequate diagnosis and give you effective solutions to minimize your chances of suffering from an allergic ocular reaction.   

How do you diagnose ocular allergies?

Dr. Joe uses a biomicroscope– also known as a stilt lamp– to check for signs of allergies, such as inflammation or swollen blood vessels on the surface of the eye. During your consultation, Dr. Joe might ask you to speak about your medical and family history.

If it’s unclear whether your symptoms are related to allergic conjunctivitis, Dr. Joe will gently scrape a small portion of the conjunctiva and test for specific types of white blood cells in your eye.

What treatments are available?

The primary treatment for ocular allergies is avoiding known allergens. If you are exposed to allergens, you should avoid rubbing your eyes, wash your hands systematically, and call Galleria Vision Center if your symptoms worsen.

Dr. Joe might also recommend:

  • Artificial teardrops to moisturize your eyes
  • Decongestants to reduce redness
  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunotherapy

Get in touch with Galleria Vision Center either by phone or online to learn more about how you can identify and treat ocular allergies.