Food allergies are not only inconvenient, but they can be dangerous for people who have strong responses to these triggers. The first time the symptom occurs, you might not know the cause of your allergic reaction. It’s important to work with a doctor to identify your hidden triggers, then you can avoid these triggers in the future to reduce the possibility of an allergic reaction.
Food Allergies vs Food Intolerances
The severity of reaction to a certain food will help you determine whether you have food allergies or just an intolerance. For example, someone with an intolerance will notice symptoms, but these symptoms are less severe compared to the reaction that happens with food allergies.
Typically, food allergies are more serious than intolerances because they can result in a major reaction within the body. If you have food allergies, then you will likely notice that:
- Symptoms start suddenly
- A small amount of the allergen can cause a reaction
- You experience symptoms every time you come in contact with the trigger
- The symptoms could be life-threatening
On the other hand, intolerance usually is gradual and you might not experience symptoms unless you eat a large amount of the trigger food.
Allergic reactions vary from one person to the next, which is why it’s critical to talk to a doctor. Common food allergens include:
- Tree nuts (almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
- Wheat (gluten)
- Dairy lactose (milk, cheese, yogurt)
While food allergies can be caused by naturally-occurring ingredients listed above, sometimes these symptoms are triggered by additives in processed foods. For example, some people experience symptoms after consuming sulfites, nitrates, or monosodium glutamate.
How Food Allergies Can Affect the Eyes
Regardless of the type of allergies you have, it’s possible that you might experience allergic symptoms in the eyes, nose, and throat. Typically, the symptoms happen throughout the body, but you need to be careful about how your eyes might be affected.
Eye allergy symptoms might include:
These symptoms can happen if you eat something that you are allergic to. Or, touching that allergen and then rubbing your eyes could cause a localized allergic reaction.
If you are experiencing an allergic response in your eyes, it’s possible that you might also be affected by seasonal allergies or environmental triggers. Common triggers include pollen, dust, and chemicals.
Allergy Treatments to Prevent the Symptoms
The best solution to prevent symptoms is to avoid the allergy trigger. Once you know what is causing the allergic reaction, then you need be to proactive about avoiding that food in the future.
For people with severe allergies who are at risk of anaphylaxis, it’s smart to always have an epi-pen (epinephrine) on hand. This shot can be administered in an emergency, giving you time to get to the emergency room.
Hay fever or seasonal allergies that affect the eyes can be managed using medication, such as antihistamine pills. It’s also helpful to use an air filter in your home if you notice frequent symptoms.
Any time you are experiencing allergy symptoms that affect the eyes, it’s smart to talk to an eye doctor about your symptoms. Contact our team to schedule an eye exam.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of talking to an optometrist about your eye health concerns. Scheduling regular eye exams is an important step to prevent computer vision syndrome.