Our pets are our best friends, even when we have pet eye allergies. About 70% of the people in the US have a pet. That could be a dog, cat, goldfish, or hamster. While cat eye allergies are the most common, dogs and hamsters can cause problems too. It is estimated that pet eye allergies affect 10 to 20% of the world’s population. That’s a lot of red, watery, itchy eyes! Not to mention the sneezing and nose issues.
Where Do Pet Eye Allergies Come From?
Eye Allergies from pets come from a few areas typically;
- dander (dead skin cells)
- pollen in their fur or coat
When these allergens get in our eyes, symptoms can happen.
Symptoms of Pet Eye Allergies
- red eyes
- pink eyes
- swollen eyelids
- puffy eyelids
If the dog or cat eye allergies happen long enough chronic allergic conjunctivitis can occur. This is when inflammation of the clear tissues, also known as the conjunctiva, that cover the white part of the eye and line the inside of the eyelid gets to a level that allergy eye drops or even steroid eye drops are needed for relief.
You do not have to give up fluffy or fido though. There are different things you can do to get relief.
- Use a cold compress to reduce blood flow to the area
- Wash your hands after playing with your pet to keep those pet eye allergies away
- Don’t let your pet sleep in your bed
- Close the air ducts to your bedroom and keep your door shut
- Replace your carpet or rug with hard floors
- Mop your floors to clean them instead of using a broom
There are quite a few allergy eye drops on the market to help with pet eye allergies. You can check with your local eye doctor to see which one they recommend or you can check out our blog post about the allergy eye drops we recommend.
Prescription Eye Drops
Sometimes the allergic conjunctivitis is so bad that we need something stronger than an over the counter allergy eye drop. This is when your optometrist will come in and prescribe a steroid eye drop like pred forte. You must remember to be careful with steroid eye drops though. If used on a bacterial infection it will make the infection weay worse very quickly.
Can You Wear Contact Lenses if You Have Eye Allergies?
You can. Some contact lens brands tend to be stickier than others. You can also consider using a single use contact lens that removes the allergens and puts them in the trash at the end of the day.
I hope this helps answer some of your dog or cat eye allergies questions and can help get your eyes from relief from pet eye allergies.