Understanding Allergic Conjunctivitis

3/1/2023 | Melissa Rosenthal

Understanding Allergic Conjunctivitis

Understanding allergic conjunctivitis can be a challenge. Exposure to a known allergen is often associated with eye itching, burning, tearing, and eyelid swelling. These symptoms typically occur in both eyes and resolve after the allergen is removed. The discharge is watery and clear in color.

With allergies, you often will also have a runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. Treatment involves reducing allergen exposure when possible. Closing windows in the home and car during peak pollen season, washing your face, and changing clothes after being outdoors is helpful. Keeping pets out of the bedroom and vacuuming is recommended. Dust mite-proof covers on the pillows and bedding are also helpful.


Cool compresses to the eye and drops, including an antihistamine, will provide relief. Many of these are now available OTC, including olopatadine and ketotifen.

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