Is It Allergy Symptoms Or Dry Eye Syndrome?

Is It Allergy Symptoms Or Dry Eye Syndrome?

April 19th, 2021
woman using tissue

It’s finally Spring! It feels lovely to get outside and go for a walk or do yard work and gardening unless you have allergies or dry eyes.

Do you notice that your eyes feel more irritated and dry during this time of the year? Have you taken your allergy medicine, but your itchy eyes are still bothering you?

Keep reading to find out if it’s just allergies bothering your eyes or if it could be dry eye syndrome.

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is when your eyes can’t create enough tears or are producing low-quality tears. Low-quality tears are tears that do not have enough of one or more of the three ingredients for healthy tears.

These ingredients are mucus, oil, and water. If one or more of these is lacking, your tears will not be able to hydrate your eyes effectively. You could end up with eyes that run constantly but are always dry.

Having dry eyes doesn’t necessarily mean you have dry eye syndrome. Only an eye doctor can make an official diagnosis.

 But dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition, and symptoms include:

  • Excessive tear production
  • Burning and stinging
  • The sensation of having something in your eye
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Unusual eye discharge

Dry eye syndrome may affect your vision if left untreated. It’s a good idea to have your eyes examined by a professional if you regularly experience these symptoms.

Is it Allergies or Dry Eye Syndrome?

Seasonal allergies have similar symptoms to dry eye syndrome. Both cause your eyes to feel dry and irritated and become red and inflamed.

A good indicator to tell if you are experiencing allergy symptoms is if you have nasal congestion along with your itchy eyes. If you’re experiencing other allergy symptoms, your dry eyes may be due to allergies.

Common causes of allergies include pollen, dust, or other environmental factors like pets. When you have an allergic reaction to something, your body releases histamine to fight off the allergen.

Histamine causes your eyes to tear, itch, and redden. Antihistamines, which are common allergy medications, should clear these symptoms up. 

But if you have dry eye syndrome, then taking allergy meds can make your symptoms worse. Oral antihistamines dry your eyes out, which can irritate your already dry eyes.

How to Relieve Your Dry Eyes

You can do some things to help your eyes feel better right now, even if you suffer from allergies and dry eye syndrome.

You can help your eyes feel better by:

  • Using lubricating eye drops
  • Applying a cool compress over your eyelids
  • Using an air purifier in your home or office
  • Using a humidifier in your home or office
  • Taking frequent breaks when reading or working at your computer
  • Quitting smoking 
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Increasing your blinking to produce more tears
  • Splashing water on your eyes
  • Asking your doctor to replace medications that cause dry eye symptoms
  • Eating more foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Taking a shower in the evening to wash away irritants you picked up during the day
  • Washing your pillow cases frequently

Not sure if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies or dry eye syndrome? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, to discuss treatments.

Don’t suffer from dry eyes any longer. Talk to your eye doctor today!