It is easy to mix up the two. After all, the two conditions share some symptoms. However, the treatment for dry eyes and allergies is different. The difference lies in the underlying cause of your symptoms. So, how will you know if you have dry eyes or seasonal allergies? Here are some facts to help you.
Dry eye syndrome is due to the low quantity or quality of tears. If this happens to your eyes, they will suffer from inadequate lubrication. The situation primes your eyes for inflammation and cornea damage.
The underlying causes of dry eye syndrome reveal dysfunction in some eye glands. The glands responsible for producing tears are the lacrimal and meibomian glands. When they have a problem, they cannot produce enough quantity or quality of tears.
Tears consist of three components. These include oil, mucus, and water. When the eyes do not produce enough oil, tears will evaporate quickly. Hence, low-quality tears cause a low quantity of tears.
The lack of oil in tears can be traced to the blockage of the meibomian glands. These are the glands that produce meibum, the oil part of tears, that you can find in the eyelid tissue. Blockage impairs their capability to contribute good amounts of oil to the tears.
When the tears are inadequate or of low quantity, a dysfunction in the lacrimal gland may have something to do with it. The lacrimal gland contributes to the aqueous part of tears. When it cannot produce enough tears stemming from a dysfunction, you get dry eye syndrome.
But note that dry eye syndrome can also be due to aging, medication, the environment, or certain medical conditions.
The symptoms of dry eyes are similar to those of allergies. They include:
Redness of the eyes
Feeling as if something is in your eye
Eye allergies vary with their causes. The best way to take care of allergies is to prevent them. Protect yourself, especially in seasons of high pollen or any other allergen that affects you.
Pollen, mold, smoke, and even wind may cause allergies. Indeed, anything in the environment can give you eye allergies.
The symptoms are like those of dry eye syndrome. However, there are some differences. When you have allergies, you will not feel like something is in your eye. You will also not necessarily have blurry vision.
The giveaway symptoms are itchy eyes and a running nose. Allergies stem from histamines. Released by the body, the chemicals are tasked to remove foreign materials that they deem harmful to your body. When they’re at it, they will cause itching, a runny nose, and watery discharge from the eyes.
To know which condition is which, you will have to get to the underlying cause. For that, your best option is to visit your doctor. They will help diagnose the problem. When they do, they will prescribe treatment accordingly.
For more information on dry eye and allergies, you can visit Coastal Vision at Chino, Orange, Irvine, or Long Beach, California. You can call (888) 501-4496 today to schedule an appointment.