Itchy, watery, red eyes could be a sign of allergies in your eye caused by your body’s overreaction to pollen, dust, dander or other irritants in the air. They may accompany sneezing and a runny nose. The constant itching and blurriness from ocular allergies won’t harm your eyesight, but as sufferers know, they can affect your quality of life.

What causes eye allergies?

The discomfort from allergy eyes is caused by the same airborne allergens that cause sneezing and a runny nose. By definition, allergens aren’t harmful, but your immune system overreacts to them which produces uncomfortable results. The immune response inflames the conjunctiva, the mucus membrane covering the white of your eye and the inside of your eyelid. You may experience allergy symptoms in your eyes alone, or also experience sneezing and a runny nose.

Common allergens are:

How do you treat eye allergies?

Avoid rubbing your eyes. Eye-rubbing increases the itchiness and can scratch the cornea.

Contact lenses

Home treatments

Over-the-counter treatments

Prescription treatments

If over-the-counter treatments aren’t providing relief, visit your eye doctor for more options. Your eye doctor may prescribe NSAID eye drops or corticosteroid eye drops to help severe eye allergies. NSAID is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can help reduce swelling. Corticosteroid eye drops can provide relief for a short time, but long-term use is not recommended because they can increase the likelihood of glaucoma and cataracts.

Eye infections

Are your eyes really red and sore, or are you experiencing whitish or yellow discharge? You may have a bacterial or viral infection and should visit your eye doctor.


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We apologize for the inconvenience.