Posted on: 02/13/24

Lasik Surgery

Allergies affect millions of people across America. Whether you’re allergic to pollen, pet dander, dust, mold spores, or artificial fragrances, you’re familiar with the persistent discomfort that allergies can cause.

For many people, allergies lead to itchy, watery eyes and may even increase the risk of eye infection. Keep reading to learn how LASIK may be able to help you with your allergy symptoms!

How Do Allergies Affect Eyes?

Allergic conjunctivitis is the technical term for an allergic reaction that causes symptoms in the eyes. An allergic reaction happens when the body has an atypical immune reaction to an otherwise harmless substance.

Your body tries to fight off the allergen by sending chemicals called histamines to the area that has come in contact with the allergen. Histamine reactions lead to swelling and irritation.

The sensitive surfaces of the eye, nose, and throat are often exposed to airborne allergens such as:

  • Pollens from grass, trees, and weeds
  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Smoke
  • Perfume
  • Air pollutants

Allergies that affect the eyes cause symptoms including:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Feeling like there is dirt or grit in your eyes
  • Puffy eyelids or dark circles under the eyes

You may also have symptoms of sinus allergies, such as stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, headache, or sore throat.

Can Contacts Make Allergies Worse?

People who wear contact lenses may find that they are more susceptible to symptoms of eye allergies. This may happen when allergens bind to the surface of the contact lens.

Tears and blinking aren’t completely effective at removing the tiny particles that irritate your eyes. The constant presence of a trigger substance can exacerbate allergy symptoms.

Contact lens wearers are also likely to touch the area around their eyes. In addition to putting contacts in and removing them, they may rub or touch their eyes to adjust the contacts.

They may also touch the area around the eyes to put in lubricating drops. All this touching increases the risk of transferring allergens from the fingers to the eye.

Will LASIK Help Allergies?

Laser vision correction, such as LASIK, may be able to help contact lens wearers overcome eye allergies. The procedure itself doesn’t reduce the body’s response to allergens.

However, it can eliminate the need for contact lenses and the ways that wearing contacts can exacerbate allergy symptoms. After you undergo LASIK, you may not need to touch the area around your eyes as often as you did when you were a contact lens wearer.

This reduces the amount of pollen coming in contact with your face. In addition, pollen and other allergens won’t adhere to the surface of contacts while you’re wearing them.

Instead, your eye’s natural tears will wash allergens away.

Are you interested in learning if LASIK may be right for you? Schedule LASIK consultation at Cutarelli Vision in Colorado Springs, CO, today!