If you have persistent eye irritation, such as itchy and watery eyes, it could be caused by an allergic reaction to something in the air. Learn all about eye allergies and get helpful tips to find relief.
What Causes Eye Allergies?
Eye irritation from allergies can occur when allergens in the air, such as pollen, pet dander or dust, come into contact with the thin membrane that covers the eyeball. When this membrane, called the conjunctiva, becomes irritated, a substance called histamine is released. Histamine can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as swollen eyes from allergies.
Eye Allergy Symptoms
Mild to severe eye allergies come with a range of allergy symptoms from minor eye irritation to more visible, annoying allergic reactions. Some allergy sufferers experience itchy, watery, burning or dry eyes from allergies. More visible reactions might include puffiness, redness and swollen eyes from allergies.
The Difference Between Eye Allergies and Pink Eye
Eye allergies are caused by a reaction to allergens in the air while pink eye is most often caused by bacterial infections and viruses. Allergies usually cause irritation in both eyes while pink eye often occurs in one and then spreads to the other. Unlike pink eye, eye allergies are not contagious and will last only as long as you’re exposed to the allergen.
Eye Allergy Treatment and Tips
The best way to treat eye allergies is to mitigate exposure to the allergens causing the issue. This can be especially true if you have seasonal allergies. Try to limit time outdoors when pollen is at its peak, and clean your air filters in the fall and winter to help prevent cold-weather allergies.
At-Home Eye Allergy Remedies
In addition to medicine for eye allergies, you can get symptom relief with a few simple remedies:
- Wash your eyes to remove allergens and irritants that can stick to eyes and eyelashes.
- Rinse the inside of eyes with water or a simple saline solution to flush out allergens.
- Apply a cold compress to eyes to help reduce swelling and puffiness.
If eye irritation from allergies worsens or persists, see a doctor.
Eye Allergy Medicine
ZYRTEC® can help minimize itchy allergy eyes, as well as other allergy symptoms. It starts working hard at hour one and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day.