Itchy puffy eye: Eye Allergies – Allergic Conjunctivitis

Eye Allergies – Allergic Conjunctivitis

What can you do for eye allergy treatment and relief?

The best thing to do is to totally avoid whatever eye allergens and irritants bother your eyes. However, this is hard since these triggers are airborne.

Here are some tips to keep your eyes clear, clean and comfortable:

  • Use a preservative-free eye wash or artificial tears to moisten dry, irritated eyes and help wash out allergens and irritants.
  • Put a damp washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes and then apply it to your eyelids to reduce itching and swelling.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes. Wash your hands and face after being outside on high pollen and mold days.

What are some eye allergy medications?

First, talk with your doctor about developing an allergy treatment plan that addresses nasal, respiratory and eye symptoms.

Over-the-counter and prescription eyedrops and oral medications can also be used to treat eye allergies.

Oral antihistamines can help relieve itchy eyes, but they may also dry out the eyes. Decongestant eyedrops (with or without antihistamines) can help reduce eye redness associated with allergies, but they should not be used for more than three days or they may worsen irritation.

Antihistamine eyedrops can reduce eye swelling, itching and redness associated with allergies. Antihistamine drops combined with a mast cell stabilizer provide relief for itching, redness and burning sensation and can also prevent symptoms.

For severe eye allergies, you may be prescribed mild corticosteroid drops – these should only be used for conjunctivitis caused by allergy, not bacterial infections. Eye allergies cause clear, watery discharges while bacterial infections cause yellow or greenish secretions.

Is it pink eye or allergies?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between allergic conjunctivitis and pink eye, a conjunctivitis caused by a virus or bacteria. Eye allergy tends to clear secretions and itching, while bacterial infections causing pink eye usually involve yellow or greenish discharge. Most conjunctivitis is viral rather bacterial and resolves well after applying warm compresses. If only one eye is affected, take care to not touch or apply anything to the unaffected eye after touching the eye with the issue.

Never put corticosteroid drops into your eyes without having a comprehensive eye exam. It is very difficult to tell the difference between conjunctivitis caused by allergy or conjunctivitis caused by bacteria; corticosteroids can be dangerous with certain bacterial diseases. Eye allergy tends to cause clear secretions and itching, while bacterial infections usually involve yellow or greenish secretions.

If you suspect that you have eye allergies visit a healthcare professional. Preventing and treating eye symptoms may be part of your overall treatment plan.

Can allergies cause dry eyes?

If your eyes feel dry and irritated in the winter months when there are fewer outdoor allergens, then you may have a form of tear dysfunction known as dry eye, or “keratoconjunctivitis sicca. ” This is not an allergic reaction – it happens when your eyes either do not make enough tears or the tears they make go away very quickly.

Many people have dry eye, including about one-third of older adults. It’s commonly found in people with eye allergies as well. Symptoms are sometimes worse when it’s cold or windy outside, after you turn on the heat in your home, or if you’re in a dry environment. Some medications, including oral antihistamines, sleeping pills and anti-depressants, can cause symptoms.

What is the treatment for dry eye?

Artificial tears – lubricant eye drops – are the main treatment for dry eye. They can keep the eye moist and reduce symptoms. You can buy artificial tears at a drug store or grocery store without a prescription. They come in liquid, gel or ointments. Preservative-free artificial tears are best for long-term use, but they are more expensive.

Other things you can do to help improve dry eye include:

  • Try to blink a lot, especially when you are reading or using a computer. This helps keep your eyes moist.
  • Avoid excess air conditioning or heating as much as you can. Also avoid sitting directly in the flow of cold or hot air.
  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom and any other space where you spend a lot of time.
  • Use goggles or “moisture chambers” if your doctor or nurse suggests them. Moisture chambers are special devices that fit on your glasses. They can help keep your eyes moist. You can buy moisture chambers at most stores that sell glasses.

Additional treatments include prescription eye drops and anti-inflammatory medicines. If these are not successful, tear duct plugs or surgery that requires the assistance of an ophthalmologist may be recommended.

Many people with difficult-to-control dry eye struggle with wearing contact lenses and may need to stop using them for as long as symptoms persist.

Puffy and Swollen Eyelid Treatment: Home Remedies

Allergy symptoms often include itchy, watery, red, and swollen eyes. Here’s the scoop on medications and home remedies that can provide relief.

By Diana RodriguezMedically Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD


Medically Reviewed

Red, itchy, and swollen eyes could be due to an allergic reaction.Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

Whether you’re out in the fresh spring air or cleaning your dusty basement, allergens run amok throughout the year. They trigger allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, stuffy and runny nose — and swollen eyes. Allergies can cause the eyes to swell and become red, itchy, watery, and really uncomfortable.

“The reason people have swollen eyes from allergies is they’re getting contact in the eyes from airborne allergens,” says Princess Ogbogu, MD, the director of the division of allergy and immunology and an associate professor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

“Basically, when the allergens hit your eyes, they sort of dissolve in your tears,” says Dr. Ogbogu. “They have contact with the lining of the eye [the conjunctiva], and they react with antibodies that are bound to cells in your eyes.” These antibodies cause the body to release histamine — which also causes nasal congestion that often accompanies swollen eyes.

The allergens doing this damage include outdoor allergens such as pollen and molds, and indoor allergens such as pet dander and indoor molds.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Prevent Mold Allergies

How Bad Can Swollen Eyes Get?

Eye allergies are also known as allergic conjunctivitis, but unlike other forms of conjunctivitis (pink eye), eye allergies are not contagious, notes the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). And eye allergies usually affect both eyes.

In addition to burning or teary, watery eyes, allergies may make you sensitive to light, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). A runny nose, cough, or headache often go hand in hand with eye allergies. The AAFA also adds that your vision may be briefly blurry and you may feel distracted or sluggish and unproductive.

RELATED: Allergy Symptoms and Diagnosis

Tips to Ease Swollen Eyes

Remember, these are your eyes we’re talking about, so check with your doctor or ophthalmologist before you try any treatment. But if you’re looking for relief, consider the following home remedies and medical interventions.

Wash your face. Washing your face is one of the first things you should do to combat itchy, swollen eyes, says Ogbogu. It can help wash away the allergens sticking to your skin and eyelashes.

Rinse out the eyes. “Rinse out the eyes if you can with a little bit of water, and that’s usually helpful,” Ogbogu says. That will loosen the allergens from the inside of your eyes and help to flush them out.

Apply a cold compress. “Cold compresses around the eyes can be helpful with itching and swelling,” says Ogbogu. Soak a towel or washcloth in cold water or refrigerate a damp cloth or eye pillow. Then lie down with the compress across your eyes to let the coolness reduce swollen eyelids.

Try allergy eye drops. Ogbogu suggests trying an over-the-counter eye drop made to soothe itchy, swollen eyes caused by allergies. An ophthalmologist might prescribe an antihistamine eye drop. The AAO cautions that using these drops for more than three days may actually increase irritating symptoms.

Mast cell stabilizer eye drops can also be effective, preventing the release of histamines in your body. Unlike antihistamines, these need to be administered before exposure to an allergen in order to prevent itching, notes the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The AAO also notes that some people may be allergic to the preservatives in certain lubricating eye drops and suggests using preservative-free formulas if that’s the case.

Take oral medications or get allergy shots.  Ogbogu says that over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications, including antihistamines, can provide some relief for milder allergy symptoms, including swollen eyes. In addition to oral medications, allergy shots (immunotherapy) can help keep allergy symptoms under control.

Additionally, an OTC nasal spray called Flonase (fluticasone) is a corticosteroid formulated to relieve itchy, watery eyes along with nasal congestion.

Stay indoors. “Weather conditions play a role,” says Ogbogu. A breezy day with lots of pollen in the air will continually re-expose you to allergens. On days when outdoor allergens are high, stay inside — and save outdoor activities for just after a rain, when fewer allergens fill the air.

It may be challenging, but avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can worsen symptoms.

Ogbogu says some do-it-yourself and home remedies aren’t always a good choice. “If you have intense redness that’s not leaving, you need to go see your doctor.

And if any of the following occur, you should call your doctor immediately:

  • A feeling that there’s something stuck in your eye
  • Pain in the eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Decreased vision

RELATED: 10 Myths About Allergies

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Eyelid edema – causes, examination and treatment in Astrakhan| Symptoms

Allergic reactions affecting the eyes only
Signs: Itching, no pain. Pale, swollen eyelid(s) and sometimes pale, swollen conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the front of the eye). Sometimes occurs in patients who have already had such an attack or who have previously been exposed to the allergen. One or both eyelids are affected.

Blepharitis (inflammation of the edges of the eyelids)
Signs: Yellow crusts on the eyelashes. Itching, burning, redness, sores, or a combination of all of these. Sometimes accompanied by seborrheic dermatitis (inflammation of the skin, which is characterized by the presence of fatty plaques on the scalp and face). Both eyelids are usually affected.

Herpes simplex blepharitis
Signs: Clusters of fluid-filled blisters on reddened skin, open sores, and significant pain. As a rule, one eye is affected (both eyes may suffer in children).

Chalazion (enlargement of the sebaceous gland deep in the eyelid)
Signs: Painful reddened area on only one eyelid. Subsequently, the development of a round, painless swelling at the edge of the eyelid.

Infectious conjunctivitis
Signs: Redness of the white of the eye, discharge and sometimes crusting on the eyelashes when a person wakes up in the morning. One or both eyes are affected.

Herpes zoster
Signs: Clusters of fluid-filled blisters on reddened skin, open sores, and significant pain. Usually only one eye is affected, and there is pruritus in the adjacent area.

Barley (hordeolum)
Signs: Redness and pain on one eyelid. Subsequently, swelling of the edge of the eyelid, sometimes small, raised, pus-filled bumps

Insect bite
Signs: Itching, redness, sometimes small raised bumps.

Cavernous sinus thrombosis (occlusion of a vein at the base of the brain due to infection by a blood clot)
Signs: Headache, eyeball protrusion, eye muscle weakness with double vision, droopy eyelids, loss of vision, and fever. As a rule, one eyelid is first affected, then the other. Symptoms of sinusitis (pain behind the eyes that worsens with head movement and nasal discharge, sometimes with blood in it) or other facial infections such as orbital cellulitis or preseptal cellulitis.

Orbital phlegmon (infection of tissues within and around the orbit)†
Signs: Protrusion of the eye, redness of the eye, pain in the depths of the eye. Red swollen eyelids. Sometimes double vision, inability to turn the eyes in certain directions, pain when moving the eyes or loss of vision, fever. Usually only one eye is affected. Sometimes symptoms of sinusitis precede.

Preseptal (periorbital) phlegmon (infection of the eyelid and skin and tissues around the front of the eye)
Signs: Swelling and redness around the eye, no protrusion of the eye. Sometimes pain (usually around the eye) and fever. Usually only one eye is affected. Vision is not disturbed, eye movements are not limited. Sometimes preceded by a skin infection near the ear.

Allergic reactions
Signs: Itching, sometimes allergy symptoms that are present in other parts of the body (rash, wheezing or runny nose). Sometimes they occur in patients who have already had such an allergy attack or who have previously been exposed to an allergen, in patients prone to various kinds of allergies. Both eyes are usually affected.

Diseases or disorders that cause swelling of the whole body (chronic kidney disease, heart failure, liver failure, pregnancy, preeclampsia)
Symptoms: Swelling of both eyelids and sometimes forehead. There are no itching, pain, redness, or other symptoms of eye disease. The legs are usually swollen.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
Signs: Swelling of the face, no pain. Dry scaly skin and coarse hair.
Cold intolerance.

Graves’ disease (overactive thyroid gland caused by an immune disorder)
Signs: Protrusion of the eyeballs (bulging eyes), double vision. There is usually no pain. Rapid heart rate, anxiety, weight loss.

Puffy eyes from allergies? Treatment and prevention

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If you have swollen eyelids, allergies can unfortunately be your problem during the flowering season. After all, puffy eyes from allergies are one of the most common symptoms of a pollen allergy. The good news is that eye allergies can be treated at home in fairly simple ways. Read our article and you will learn what to do with puffy eyes and how to bring swollen and itchy eyelids back to normal. The preventive measures that we will discuss will help you quickly recover from eye allergies.

Please note that all information on our website is provided for educational purposes only and is in no way a substitute for expert advice. In case of any complications, consult a doctor immediately!

Puffy Eyes: Allergies and Causes

Runny nose, sore throat and puffy eyes from allergies are the main and very unpleasant symptoms of pollen allergy. But what exactly causes eye swelling from allergies? The fact is that our body struggles with external stimuli, such as dust, dandruff or pollen. When your eyelids are swollen, an allergy to pollen or other foreign elements triggers a defensive reaction in the body. Watery eyes help you get rid of dry eyes and allergens, but at the same time cause itching and redness of the eyelids.

You have learned what an eye allergy is. Now we will tell you what to do with puffy eyes from allergies at home.

Eye Allergies: Prevention and Treatment

We strongly recommend that you first consult your physician before using any eye products, especially if there is no noticeable improvement or allergy symptoms worsen.

However, there are several things you can do to prevent puffy eyes from allergies at home:

  • Cold compresses. A clean, soft cloth soaked in cold water will help relieve annoying itching and inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Flush eyes frequently. Wash your face with clean cold water. This will help loosen the allergens and flush them out of your eyes.

For compresses and wiping tears, use tissue paper and boxed tissues such as Zewa Deluxe. They are very soft and will be extremely gentle on your sore eyes.

How to avoid pollen allergy

Allergy puffy eyes can be soothed and irritated. But prevention, as you know, is always better than cure, especially when it comes to pollen allergies. The home remedies described above will help relieve allergy symptoms. But these simple preventive measures will help you avoid eye allergies:

  • Watch the weather forecast. One of the most effective ways to avoid puffy eyes from allergies is to try to leave the house as little as possible in dry weather when there is a lot of dust outside.