About allergic eyes

23. May 2014

A cold compress can give a quick fix for of allergic puffy and red eyes, but for long-term relief, it is important to identify triggers and treat symptoms.

Eye allergies happen when your eyes are exposed to the offending allergen. Cells in your eyes called mast cells release histamine and other chemicals, causing inflammation.

Symptoms of eye allergies can include redness in the white of the eye or the inner eyelid. Other signs include itchy eyes, tearing, blurred vision, burning sensation, eyelid swelling, and sensitivity to light. Eye allergies can occur alone or with nasal allergies and the allergic skin condition eczema. The only way to know for sure if it's eye allergies is to see your doctor.

It may be tempting, but rubbing itchy eyes can make things worse. Rubbing your eyes may cause the mast cells to release more of the chemicals that caused your eyes to itch in the first place! Instead, take contact lenses out, avoid eye makeup, and apply cool compresses to your eyes.

Grass, tree, and weed pollens are common allergens and cause seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. When pollen counts are high, stay indoors, keep your windows closed and the air conditioner on. Wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.

Pet dander, dust mites, and molds top the list of indoor eye allergens. These triggers tend to cause symptoms all year long. To help control pet allergies, keep the pet out of your bedroom. If dust mites trigger runny, watery eyes, invest in bedding and pillowcases that keep them out. Wash sheets in hot water and clean floors with a damp mop.

Read more about eye allergies here.