Clear and comfortable vision is possible if you suffer from itchy, dry, or watery eyes. At the Peña Eye Institute, we offer more than quality vision correction services services; we care for the overall health and comfort of your eyes.
The first step Dr. Peña will take is to determine the correct cause of your discomfort. Eye allergies and dry eyes present similar symptoms. By gathering information about your current medications, living environment, lifestyle and additional symptoms, Dr. Peña can determine if you have eye allergies vs. dry eyes. Contact our McAllen, TX practice to schedule your eye exam.
Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eyes cannot produce enough tears, or the tears are not able to adequately coat the eye. This results in a dry or gritty feeling to the eyes; often patients feel that something is in their eye.
Additional symptoms may include a burning sensation, episodes of tears followed by excessive dryness, eye discharge, eye pain, blurred vision, and frequent redness.
The risk of this condition increases as patients age, and is more common in women than men.
However, younger patients are developing dry eye at higher rates. This may be due to increased exposure to screens from laptops and smart phones. Staring at screens can decrease the frequency of blinking, which can result in dry eye symptoms. Other causes include:
- Certain medications (such as antihistamines, contraceptive medications, and decongestants)
- Smoke-filled or windy environments
- Auto-immune disorders such as lupus
- Rosacea and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid associated with rosacea)
Also known as allergic conjunctivitis, eye allergies occur when the body develops sensitivities to environmental stimuli such as pet dander, pollen, mold, or dust.
Eye allergies may occur with other allergy symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, cough, or skin irritation.
Eye allergies present many of the same symptoms as dry eye; however, unlike dry eye, eye allergies go away when exposure to the allergen is eliminated.
Dr. Peña may suggest allergy testing for patients who are unsure what environmental factors are causing their symptoms. These symptoms may include:
- Eye redness
- Redness and swelling of the eye lid
- Itching or burning sensation
- Blurred vision
Dr. Peña can determine the cause of your eye discomfort, and may suggest one of the treatments listed below to help alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.
In many cases, eye allergies are treated similar to other allergy issues, and can improve once the allergen is reduced or fully removed from a patient’s environment.
Dry eye treatments include:
- Altering medications
- Using topical medications, steroids, or over-the-counter artificial tears
- Taking supplements such as fish oil or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- Changing environmental or lifestyle stimuli
- Taking prescription medications formulated for dry eye
- Punctal plugs
Eye allergy treatment includes:
- Taking antihistamines while symptoms last
- Reducing exposure to the allergen
- Over-the-counter artificial tears
- Cold compresses
Contact Us for Superior Vision Correction
If you have dry, itchy eyes, we can help. Dr. Peña can determine if you suffer from allergies or dye eye, and he can create a treatment plan that will restore your eyes’ natural lubrication, and relieve your uncomfortable and irritating symptoms. Contact our practice online or call us at (956) 661-8733 or (956) 264-1200.