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Can Dry Eyes Make Allergy Symptoms Worse?

Young woman suffering from dry eyes and allergies

Do you have allergies? Are you finding that your eyes feel dry after working all day?

Dry eye is a very common condition. There are many causes of dry eye. These can include allergies, spending time spent looking at screens, and your environment.

If you have dry eye and allergies, these are two things that both cause eye discomfort. To treat your dry eye, there are treatments and lifestyle adjustments you can make. These can help you feel better and help your allergy symptoms improve as well.

Typically, adults develop dry eye after they turn 50 but it is possible to develop it earlier too. Dry eyes are more common in women than in men. Keep reading to learn if having dry eyes can make allergy symptoms worse!

What are dry eyes?

Dry eye is an eye condition that is incredibly common. It most often occurs when you don’t produce enough tears or the tears produced are low-quality.

Dry eyes can be caused by environmental conditions like sitting near strong air, being on an airplane, and too much screentime. Understanding the ways to prevent dry eye is key to keeping your eyes happy while minimizing allergy symptoms.

How do you get dry eyes?

Dry eye is caused by problems with your tear production. If your eyes are dry, they can overproduce tears that are not the quality needed to keep your eyes moist. Also, you can develop dry eye when your tears evaporate too quickly.

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

Dry eyes have many symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation
  • Feeling like there is sand or something in your eye
  • Having a decrease or increase in tear production
  • Corneal and conjunctival staining
  • Keratitis
  • Eye fatigue
  • Photophobia

Other symptoms include light sensitivity, redness, difficulty driving at night, discomfort wearing, a stringy discharge, eye pain, and blurry vision.

Any combination of these symptoms can make allergy symptoms worse. It is important to remember that if your eyes itch, that is an allergy symptom.

Pairing itchy eyes with the symptoms from dry eye would be very uncomfortable.

What are some of the possible treatments for allergies and dry eyes?

If you have allergies and/or dry eye, you need to determine what the cause is. Here are some ideas for potential treatments:

You may want to reconsider antihistamines

While antihistamines are good at treating allergies, they can make dry eye worse. If you have dry eyes and allergies, stop taking your antihistamine and ask your doctor for other options for treating your allergies.

Keep windows closed and stick to A/C

If the allergen counts near you are high, keep your windows closed and use fans or air conditioning. If you use fans or A/C, make sure to sit far enough away to prevent your eyes from drying out more.

Wear goggles when working outside

If you are doing yard work, wear goggles. This way your eyes are protected from allergens and it can keep symptoms of dry eye from worsening.

These are some of the possible ways to treat your dry eye while also reducing allergy symptoms. If your dry eye gets worse or the combination of allergies and dry eyes is too uncomfortable, see an eye doctor.

Do you need help treating your dry eyes? Schedule an appointment at Ginsberg Eye in Naples, FL with one of our doctors!

Don’t spend this summer suffering from dry eyes and allergies!