Eye Allergies

Allergies affecting the eye are very common. The most common allergies are those related to pollen, particularly when the weather is warm and dry. An increasing number of eye allergy cases are related to medications and contact lens wear. Also, animal hair, dustmites, and certain cosmetics, such as mascara, face creams, and eyebrow pencil, can cause allergies that affect the eye. Touching or rubbing eyes after handling nail polish, soaps, or chemicals may cause an allergic reaction.

Allergy symptoms are usually temporary, and can include redness, itching, tearing, burning, stinging, and watery or stringy discharge. They are not usually severe enough to require medical attention.


Step one is to determine the cause of the allergy and remove it. If you cannot determine the cause for your allergies, an allergist can perform testing which oftentimes reveals the source.


Step two is to try non-medicated eye drops.


Step three is to use medicated eye drops.

When it comes to medicated eye drops, be sure to read the label--there are warnings and contraindications to their use. Remember too, that eye drop medications do get absorbed into the blood stream, just as if a pill were taken, so don't make the mistake of thinking that they are harmless.


Sometimes, dry eyes will intensify signs of allergies, and in that case, artificial tear drops may be all that is necessary to improve your comfort.

Again, dealing with eye allergies is mostly about dealing with symptoms. I will examine your eyes to see if you have significant signs of ocular allergies, and together we will determine what treatment is best for your particular circumstance.