Eye allergy symptoms occur when the membranes that cover the whites of the eyes and line the eyelids become inflamed from exposure to an allergen. This is similar to how the lining of the nose becomes inflamed causing nasal allergy symptoms. Eye allergies result when the body's immune system recognizes a harmless substance as an allergen. When the immune system encounters that allergen again it reacts and the allergy cells release certain chemicals which cause symptoms such as itching, redness, swelling and tearing. Typical allergens that cause eye symptoms are also the same ones that cause nasal allergy symptoms: tree, grass and weed pollen, animal dander, dust mites, and molds. Most people with eye allergies have trouble with both eyes. Eye allergies are not contagious and usually do not cause long term damage to the eyes.
Treatment for eye allergies involves avoiding those allergens which cause your specific symptoms. Allergy testing can help pinpoint the cause of your specific symptoms and can assist with avoidance efforts. If avoidance is not possible, then medications can be used to help control symptoms. Nasal sprays, oral medications and eye drops can all be helpful in controlling eye allergy symptoms. For people who wish to achieve long term symptom control and reduce medication dependence, allergy shots allow you the opportunity to control symptoms without medications and potentially cure both nasal and eye symptoms due to allergies.