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Can Allergies Cause Dry Eyes?

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A female dealing with dry eye and allergies.

Anything that brings discomfort to your eyes is something we all want to avoid. Dry eyes can cause this discomfort and leave your eyes feeling scratchy and watery. Your optometrist can help you manage dry eyes through comprehensive eye exams and help you get the relief you deserve.

The underlying causes of your dry eyes may help you prevent the condition in the future. Let’s explore if allergies can cause dry eyes, different symptoms, and how to treat dry eyes. 

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears to stay lubricated, or something has gone wrong with the tear production process.

Your tears are composed of 3 layers:

  • An oily outer layer
  • A watery middle layer
  • An inner mucus layer

When the tear-producing glands in your eyes aren’t functioning properly or become inflamed, you may experience chronic or acute dry eye. Inflammation in your glands that create the oily layer can cause clogs and instability in the tear film, leading to meibomian gland dysfunction.

Any instability in the tear production process can lead to the development of dry eye syndrome.

Some common signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome can include: 

  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes
  • Stinging, scratching, or burning sensations
  • Stringy mucus near the eye
  • Blurry vision

Your optometrist can diagnose your dry eyes quickly and easily through personalized tear tests and get you started on a treatment option that works for you. 

A woman dealing with seasonal allergies.

OptiLight Dry Eye Treatment

OptiLight by Lumenis is the first and only intense pulsed light that is FDA-approved for dry eye management due to meibomian gland dysfunction. OptiLight is a gentle and efficient treatment method that has been backed by over 20 clinical studies to help find relief from dry eye syndrome.

OptiLight treatment consists of 4 sessions, each about 10 to 15 minutes long, so you’ll be able to make time during your busy day for treatment!

OptiLight helps you find relief from dry eye symptoms and has different effects, such as:

  • Restoring meibomian gland function
  • Alleviating abnormal blood vessel formation
  • Improving tear break-up time
  • Reducing inflammatory mediators

Your optometrist can help determine if OptiLight is right for you!

Do Allergies Play a Role in Dry Eyes?

Allergies can be a common occurrence for many people worldwide, and the nature of allergy symptoms can lead some to believe they are linked to dry eye syndrome. Dry eye and eye allergies share similar symptoms, and while they have different underlying causes, eye allergies can lead to dry eye syndrome

Itchiness is the most prevalent symptom that sets eye allergies apart from other eye issues. This itchiness may cause you to scratch your eyes excessively and create tears and redness that can appear with dry eye syndrome

Additionally, eye allergies can cause your eyes to be watery—another symptom of dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes can often be misdiagnosed as an eye allergy, but it’s important to remember that the underlying causes are different!

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears to stay lubricated, or something has gone wrong with the tear production process.

Eye allergies are caused by coming into contact with substances your body is allergic to. Your body releases histamine to help fight these usually harmless substances, which leads to an allergic reaction. 

It’s crucial to receive a correct diagnosis for your eye issues, and the optometrists at Eye Rx can help you get the right treatment for your visual needs!

Comfort & Relief for Dry Eyes in Chevy Chase & Washington D.C.

Dry eyes can put a halt to your productivity and leave you on the hunt for relief. Allergies can have similar symptoms and lead to dry eye syndrome, but the underlying causes for both are different. 

Book an appointment with your optometrist at Eye Rx to find the relief you deserve!

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Written by Eye Rx

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