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Eye Allergies and What Causes Them

At Kung Eye Center, we know that approximately 50 million people in the U.S. are affected by allergies and the eyes are often the most commonly affected. That is why we carry out advanced allergy testing to know exactly what causes allergies. Here is everything you need to know about the possible causes of your allergies and how you can treat them.

Different Types of Eye Allergy

Eye allergies can be caused by a variety of factors. A few different types of eye allergies include:

  • Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis: the most common type of eye allergy caused by pollen
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: a specific type of allergy from contact lenses
  • Perennial Conjunctivitis: caused by pet dander, dust, and other indoor allergens
  • Contact Conjunctivitis: triggered by allergens in makeup, eye drops, perfumes, etc.

Symptoms of Eye Allergies

Eye allergy symptoms often materialize fairly quickly. However, there are some instances when you can start experiencing them after two to four days. Well, the following are the symptoms of eye allergies:
• Runny or teary eyes
• Sensitivity to light
• Swollen eyelids
• Itchy eyes
• Red irritated eyes
• Burning, pain, or soreness

Causes of Eye Allergies

Up to this point, you now know that indoor and outdoor allergens are the major causes of eye allergies. These allergens include pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and pollen. The eyes are exposed and sensitive; hence, allergens and irritants always find them an easy target. To get rid of allergens in your eyes, the body releases chemicals, which include histamines. It is these chemicals that lead to inflammation. It is worth noting that allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious, which means you cannot spread it to another person regardless of how close both of you come into contact.

Preventing Allergy Symptoms

Although they can be extremely irritating, eye allergies are fairly easy to treat. Ideally, it is good to protect yourself from eye allergies. You can do this in the following ways:
• Keeping the windows closed during allergy seasons
• Wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes
• Wash your pillowcases and bed linens regularly
• Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes

Eye Allergy Treatments

If preventative techniques are not successful are allergy symptoms persist, the following treatments can be utilized:


Oral antihistamines and antihistamine eyedrops will provide quick relief that lasts for a few hours. Eyedrops can be reapplied throughout the day. Antihistamines relieve redness, swelling, and itchiness caused by eye allergies.


Steroid eyedrops can be considered for chronic, severe eye allergies. Long-term use of steroids should be prescribed under the supervision of a doctor since there is a risk of side effects like glaucoma and eye irritation.

Lubricating Eye Drops

Eye allergies can dry out the eyes and cause painful itchiness. Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears can encourage tear production to relieve these symptoms and provide immediate comfort.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have tried over-the-counter medication but you do not seem to get any relief, it may be time to schedule a consultation with us. Our dedicated team of eye doctors offers various treatment options starting with eye allergy testing at our New York or New Jersey office.

Request an Appointment

Please call our New York office at (929) 429-2928 or our New Jersey office at (732) 724-2535 with any questions you may have.