How to Treat Eye Allergies at Home

Eye allergies, also called allergic conjunctivitis, are quite common. They occur when the eyes react to something that irritates them (the allergen). The eyes produce a substance called histamine to fight off the allergen. As a result, the eyelids and conjunctiva become red, swollen and itchy, and they may tear or burn.

The key to treating eye allergies is to avoid or limit contact with the allergen. However, there are easy treatments that can help to relieve the eyes.



Avoiding Allergens

If you’re allergic to pollen, avoid being outdoors when pollen counts are highest, which is usually in the mid-morning and early evening.

If mold is an allergy trigger, know that humidity can cause mold to grow. Clean high-humidity areas such as bathrooms and basements often.

When cleaning floors, use a damp mop or rag to trap allergens.

Always avoid rubbing your eyes, as it only irritates them more.


Treating Allergies with Drops & Medicines

Artificial tears

Artificial tear drops help relieve eye allergies temporarily by washing allergens from the eye. They also relieve dry, irritated eyes by adding moisture.


Decongestants reduce redness in the eyes from allergies. They are available as over-the-counter eye drops. If the decongestant eye drops you choose include an antihistamine, they can relieve itchiness as well.

Antihistamine / Mast-Cell Stabilizers

Eye drops with both an antihistamine to relieve itchiness and a mast-cell stabilizer help prevent eye allergies. You use them once or twice a day to relieve itching, redness, tearing and burning.



Adapted from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

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