Allergies and What it Might Mean For Your Eyes

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in Eye Exams, General Eye Health on August 26, 2015

Allergies tend to be associated with a runny nose, scratchy throat, or just an increased level of sneezing, but allergy symptoms come in a lot of different varieties. Unfortunately for many, allergies can cause all types of discomfort for the eyes, ranging from swelling to a persistent itchy feeling.

If you find that your eyes are getting red, swollen, and/or itchy—then it is highly possible that it is due to an allergy pollen, pet dander, dust, freshly cut grass, etc… In order to rid yourself of this frustration you need to figure out what is triggering your reaction and take action to stay ahead of the symptoms.

Eye allergies, or “allergic conjunctivitis” as it is known in the scientific community, is caused by a misfiring of the immune system—like any other allergic reaction. When you have an allergic reaction, your body is reacting to something that isn’t really harmful and releases histamine—a chemical that causes swelling and inflammation. With eye allergies this makes the blood vessels in your eyes swell, making them get teary, red, and itchy.

The different types of eye allergies are as follows:

  • Perennial conjunctivitis: These allergies are year-round and can be triggered by dust, pet dander, and other indoor allergens.
  • Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis: The most common type of eye allergy, which can be triggered by pollen from grass, weeds, and trees.
  • Contact Conjunctivitis: This can be triggered by makeup, perfume, or other chemicals.
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: This is a very specific allergy type that is triggered by contact lenses.

While most of the time allergic symptoms will materialize pretty quickly, it can sometimes take up to two to four days to make themselves known after exposure. Here are some allergy symptoms to keep an eye out for:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Itchy eyes
  • Soreness, burning, or pain
  • Red irritated eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Tearing or runny eyes

In most cases, eye allergies can be treated by over-the-counter eye drops and antihistamine pills. The best thing you can do to minimalize the effects of your allergies is to be aware of them and to take all the necessary precautions to limit exposure. If eye problems persist and over-the-counter medications aren’t providing relief, be sure to see your eye doctor for further inspection.


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Aloha (OES)
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego (OES)
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg (OES)
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence
5050 NE Hoyt St., #245
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Providence Portland (OES)
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent (OES)
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Aloha (OES)
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego (OES)
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg (OES)
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence
5050 NE Hoyt St., #245
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Providence Portland (OES)
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent (OES)
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more