“It’s crucial to know if you’re suffering from an allergy or an infection because an infection can cause damage to the eye or you can spread it to others,” Dr. Centilli says.
For those who suffer during pollen season, Dr. Centilli has some tips:
- Don’t touch or rub eyes
- Wash hand frequently with soap and water
- Use allergen covers for pillows, comforters, duvet and mattresses
- Wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent to minimize allergens
- Keep windows closed during high pollen and mold seasons
Whatever the cause of eye irritation, Dr. Centilli says a family physician can help. She notes that your eyes can reflect how well other systems in your body are working.
“For example, some autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and Graves’ disease can present with eye complaints,” she says. “Based on symptoms, a family physician can order further studies to investigate further.”