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Eye Allergies: Making the Proper Diagnosis

Posted on: March 31st, 2024 by Our Team

Many people may not associate specific eye symptoms with any condition, but eye allergies, also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis are common. Eye allergies occur when the eyes react to certain irritants called allergens. The eyes produce a substance called histamine to resist the allergen. This results in the eyelids becoming red, swollen, and itchy. Another symptom is where the eyes can tear and burn. One important distinction between eye allergies and other types of conjunctivitis is that eye allergies do not spread from person to person.

Common Symptoms

Individuals who experience eye allergies often also have nasal allergies that are associated with nasal congestion, itchiness, and sneezing. Sources that can contribute to eye allergies include, but are not limited to, pets, dust, pollen, smoke, perfumes, or even specific foods. Some even have a sensitivity to light.


There are different ways to treat eye allergies using eye drops and medicine. Treatments can include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Decongestants (with or without antihistamines)
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Antihistamines/mast-cell stabilizers
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunotherapy shots

To receive proper treatment and to ensure the correct diagnosis, Union Square Eye Care recommends seeing one of our physicians who will identify through an exam if you have an eye allergy and if so, the proper treatment plan. They can also determine if there is an eye infection or allergic conjunctivitis. In addition, our physicians can check for indications of eye allergies such as swollen blood vessels on the surface of the eye.

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