Natural remedies for eye allergies

In the U.S., more than 50 million people suffer from allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Fortunately, allergies can be treated without the use of drug medications. Here are natural remedies available for allergies, particularly eye allergy: (h/t:

  • Prepare either a warm or cold compress: A warm or cold compress can help relieve eye allergy. You can make either of these with household supplies. To make a warm compress, take a long tube sock and fill it with rice, and tie it in a knot at the top. Then, put it in the microwave for two minutes. Take it out, and apply it directly to closed eyes. The heat will help lessen the discomfort or pain associated with the eye irritation. For a cold compress, you can use either a wet washcloth that has been put in the freezer for 20 minutes or a small bag of frozen peas. Place it over your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. The cold compress will help decrease any swelling and inflammation. You can switch between the hot and cold compresses until you achieve comfort.
  • Use saltwater drops: Saltwater or saline drops can help relieve dry eyes and maintain proper moisture. Saltwater performs two purposes: It moistens the eyes and gets rid of any unwanted irritants. To use saltwater drops, put two drops in each eye every 30 minutes, until you feel relief. You can make your own salt water drops at home with a half cup of water, either distilled or purified without any mineral additives, and one teaspoon of salt. Mix the salt in warm to hot water to make sure that the salt is completely dissolved. Use a clean dropper or an eye cup to apply to the eyes. You can also wash the eyes out with the saline solution once a day by tipping a cup with saline solution in it over your face. Open your eyes for about 15 seconds to expose the whole eye to the salt water. This remedy will also help ease any irritation.
  • Use chamomile tea bags: Another way to treat eye allergy is to use chamomile tea bags. Chamomile is known to possess soothing properties. Steep two chamomile tea bags in hot water for less than 10 seconds. This will activate the active elements of the herb without infusing them into the water. Let them cool for one minute, then place over closed eyes for 10 minutes. Also, place a towel under your head to catch any watery runoff, and let the chamomile run into the eyes and down the face. You can use chamomile tea bags three to four times a day for relief. The warmth of the tea will help relieve pain and discomfort in the eyes. It will also help relax the tired eye muscles. (Related: Eye problem treatments you can achieve at home.)

Eye allergy, also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis or ocular allergy, occurs when something you are allergic to irritates the conjunctiva, the delicate membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Similar to all allergies, eye allergy begins when the immune system identifies an allergen, which causes an allergic reaction, resulting in watery, itchy, painful, red, or swollen eyes. The most common causes of eye allergy are pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander. Some eye allergy can also occur through reactions to certain cosmetics or eye drops, such as artificial tears used for treating dry eyes.

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