Allergy

What are the symptoms of eye allergies?

If you have itchy, red eyes that water a lot, you may have eye (or ocular) allergy, sometimes called allergic conjunctivitis. It is not an eye infection.

Hayfever is the most common cause of allergic conjunctivitis.

Depending on the cause, other symptoms can include:

• Puffy eyelids
• Red eyes
• Watery eyes
• Gritty sensation
• Mucous discharge
• Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

What causes allergic reaction in eyes?

In some people the membrane that covers the surface of the eye can react to certain triggers (allergens) in the environment such as pollen, dust mites, contact lenses, perfume and cosmetics, animal hair and even cigarette smoke. Some eye allergies are associated with the season, such as hay fever, whereas others may occur all year round.

How are eye allergies managed?

Cold compresses on closed eyelids can reduce redness and swelling and drops for dry eyes can be useful to dilute the irritant and rinse away. Over the counter products such as decongestants and antihistamines can alleviate symptoms. For more severe allergies, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications.

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