Do you have irritated watery eyes this spring?

If someone is having itchy watery red eyes this spring, how can they tell it is due to allergies? A good indicator of allergies is itching.  Lots of people get itchy eyes when outdoors in the spring primarily because of exposure to tree or grass pollens.  The itching symptoms may be worse in the middle corners of the eyes.  Red and watery eyes also accompany it.

Eye allergies can also occur on a seasonal basis or because exposure to things like cat dander and dust in the air. Antihistamines, pills or drops often ameliorate eye allergies symptoms.  There are both prescription and over the counter antihistamine eye drops.

What is dry eye and how can it affect you?

Dry eye occurs when a person makes poorer quality tears.  This condition tends to get more common as we get older and may also be due to certain medical conditions or side effects of some medications, even antihistamine pills.  The main symptom of dry eyes is burning or irritation, however itching is less common. Redness is also common. Although it’s counterintuitive, the person with dry eyes may have lots of watering as the tear glands try to make more tears to protect the eye.  Dry eyes gets worse with irritants like smoke and gusts of air either from the wind or a car’s air conditioner. Dry eye usually does not respond well to antihistamines but it is often improved by lubricant eye drops like over the counter Systane and Refresh.  Those who have both dry eyes and allergies can usually benefit from both lubricant and antihistamine eye drops.  Anyone with significant eye symptoms not responding to simple treatments should see an eye doctor.

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Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin offers and maintains this web site to provide information of a general nature about the practice and conditions requiring the services of an allergist. The information is provided with the understanding that Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin is not engaged in rendering surgical or medical advice or recommendations via this website. Any information in the publications, messages, postings or articles on this web site should not be considered a substitute for consultation with your physician to address individual medical needs. Individual facts and circumstances will determine the treatment that is most appropriate.

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