Eye Allergies and Infections

Eye allergies occur when a substance which you are sensitive to comes into contact with your eyes, causing irritation, swelling and redness. These types of substances are called allergens.

Conjunctivitis occurs when there is inflammation of the membrane lining the inner eyelid and covering the white of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies or by viral or bacterial infections. Conjunctivitis is more commonly referred to as pink eye.

Both allergic conjunctivitis and viral or bacterial conjunctivitis have symptoms that include:

  • Watering
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Burning
  • Feeling as though lids are stuck closed and crusty upon waking
  • Discharge:
    • Viral conjunctivitis may produce a clear discharge
    • Bacterial conjunctivitis has a thick, creamy discharge called pus
    • Allergic conjunctivitis has a thick, rope-like discharge

Allergic conjunctivitis is usually treated by avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms. In addition, University Eye Specialists, P.C. doctors may recommend using antihistamines and /or standard eye drops to help relieve redness, swelling and itching. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Do not wear contact lenses until your eyes have completely healed.