At this time of year, seasonal allergies can cause a marked risk in the health of many older adults. For those who live with glaucoma, there is a marked risk for complications associated with seasonal allergies and the management of intraocular eye pressure. If you are an eye disorder patient who lives with complications of glaucoma, it is important to understand how allergies can adversely affect your health.
Seasonal allergies cause a sudden increase in the itchy sensation and increased watering of the eyes. With seasonal allergies, these types of temporary symptoms can cause a temporary rise in intraocular pressure, IOP. When IOP increases, and is not address promptly, there can be complications with vision and eye nerve damage.
In addition to the symptoms of allergies, the residual effect of hardened debris and mucous around the eyes can also cause complications with IOP increases. Has hardened mucous in the eyes clogs up the passages for drainage, the eyes that are already inflicted with glaucoma will experience vast additional complications.
If you are struggling with seasonal allergies, it is important to speak with your doctor about the aggressive treatment of your seasonal allergies in an effort to keep your glaucoma risks at a minimum. While oral medications to control allergies can be effective, many glaucoma patients also require oral steroid medications and allergy shots.
Without proper treatment, over the long term, the seasonal allergies will lead to unresolved intraocular eye pressure which can, ultimately, deteriorate the nerves in your eyes. As the nerves in your eyes deteriorate, your vision will diminish and you could be at an increased risk for vision impairment or even blindness.
The key to your optimal health, therefore, lies in getting your seasonal allergies under control and utilizing medications and shots to manage the symptoms in and around your eyes. In doing so, you can keep IOP at a normal level which will prevent your glaucoma from causing additional health complications. Fortunately, seasonal allergies typically do not cause complications for the glaucoma patient every day of the year so, as the seasons pass, the treatment for allergies, and complications with glaucoma, will subside.
Sources: A Patient’s Guide to Glaucoma, by Young H. Kwon, pp. 127-129.