What allergy causes eyes to water

Pink eye can be highly contagious, especially in children, so it is significant to take steps to prevent infection. Dr. John Soud, owner and co-founder of Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Centers, provided these tips for preventing the spread of pink eye:

  1. Be certain to discard ancient cosmetics and anything that comes in contact with your eyes during an infection.
  2. Never touch your eyes or the area around your eyes without washing your hands first.
  3. Never share makeup products.

Weston added that surfaces should be wiped below with disinfectant, and towels should be laundered after use to assist prevent the spread of infection.

Additional resources

This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to offer medical advice.

This article was updated on Oct. 9, , by Live Science Staff Author, Yasemin Saplakoglu.

en españolConjuntivitis

Can Pinkeye Be Prevented?

Infectious conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so teach kids to wash their hands well and often with warm water and soap.

What allergy causes eyes to water

They also should not share eye drops, tissues, eye makeup, washcloths, towels, or pillowcases.

Be certain to wash your own hands well after touching an infected child’s eyes, and throw away items love gauze or cotton balls after they’ve been used. Wash towels and other linens that the kid has used in boiling water separately from the relax of the family’s laundry to avoid contamination.

If you know your kid is prone to allergic conjunctivitis, hold windows and doors closed on days when the pollen is heavy, and dust and vacuum often to limit allergy triggers.

What allergy causes eyes to water

Irritant conjunctivitis can only be prevented by avoiding the irritating causes.

Screening and treating pregnant women for STDs can prevent numerous cases of pinkeye in newborns. A pregnant lady may own bacteria in her birth canal even if she shows no symptoms, which is why prenatal screening is important.

How Can I Assist My Kid Feel Better?

Using cool or warm compresses on the eyes may make your childmore comfortable.

What allergy causes eyes to water

Clean the edges of the infected eye carefully with warm water and gauze or cotton balls. This can also remove the crusts of dried discharge that make the eyelids stick together in the morning.

If your kid wears contact lenses, your doctor or eye doctor may recommend that the lenses not be worn until the infection is gone. Then, disinfect the lenses and their storage case at least twice before letting your kid wearthem again. If your kid wears disposable contact lenses, throw away the current pair and use a new pair after the infection is gone.

Doctors generally recommend keeping kids with contagious conjunctivitis out of school, childcare, or summer camp for a short time.

How Is Pinkeye Treated?

Pinkeye caused by a virus generally goes away without any treatment.

Pinkeye caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment.

It can be hard to get kids to tolerate eye drops several times a day. If you’re having trouble, put the drops on the inner corner of your child’s closed eye — when your kid opens the eye, the medicine will flow into it. If you still own trouble with drops, enquire the doctor about antibiotic ointment, which can be placed in a thin layer where the eyelids meet, and will melt and enter the eye.

If your kid has allergic conjunctivitis, your doctor may prescribe anti-allergy medicine, either as pills, liquid, or eye drops.

You also can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve discomfort (check instructions for correct amount).

When Should I Call the Doctor?

If the pinkeye does not improve after 2 to 3 days of treatment, or after a week if untreated, call your doctor.

If your kid has increased swelling, redness, and tenderness in the eyelids and around the eye, along with a fever, call your doctor.

Those symptoms may mean the infection has started to spread beyond the conjunctiva and will need further treatment.

General Information

Redness and inflammation of the eye has been reported as being the most common eye problem in Australia. A major cause of eye problems is conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the ‘conjunctiva’ (the thin clear tissue that lines that inner eyelids and covers the white part of the eyeball).

There are 3 main types of conjunctivitis: allergic, bacterial and viral. They can be hard to tell apart, and each is treated differently.

Irritant conjunctivitis can also happen due to dryness and/or foreign matter in the eye. Always seek medical advice if you own red or painful eyes, loss of vision, irregular shaped pupils or there is unusual discharge.

Is Pinkeye Contagious?

Pinkeye is contagious if it’s caused by bacteria or a virus:

  1. Pinkeye that’s caused by bacteria can spread to others as soon as symptoms appear and for as endless as there’s discharge from the eye — or until 24 hours after antibiotics are started.
  2. Pinkeye that’s caused by a virus is generally contagious before symptoms appear and can remain so as endless as the symptoms last.

Allergic conjunctivitis and irritant conjunctivitis are not contagious.

A kid can get pinkeye by touching an infected person or something an infected person has touched, such as a used tissue.

In the summertime, pinkeye can spread when kids swim in contaminated water or share contaminated towels. It also can spread through coughing and sneezing.

Also, someone who has pinkeye in one eye can spread it to the other eye by rubbing or touching the infected eye, then touching the other eye.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria and is extremely contagious, commonly infecting other family members. Symptoms, which may start suddenly and may affect one eye before the other, include:

  1. eyelids may be stuck together when you wake up, or there may be yellow discharge coming from your eyes.
  2. red, burning, sore or gritty eyes with puffy eyelids
  3. swelling of the eyelid
  4. there are generally no other symptoms associated with bacterial conjunctivitis

What Is Pinkeye?

The eye infection conjunctivitis (kun-junk-tih-VY-tus) — often called pinkeye — is common in young kids.

It’s generally contagious, and breakouts can sweep through preschools and playgrounds.

What allergy causes eyes to water

But even teens and adults can get pinkeye.

Pinkeye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. It’s a minor infection and although it might glance bad, generally isn’t serious.

Still, if your kid shows signs of pinkeye, it’s significant to see a doctor. Some kinds of pinkeye go away on their own, but others need treatment.

What Causes Pinkeye?

Infectious pinkeye (the helpful that can spread to others) can be caused by numerous of the bacteria and viruses responsible for colds and other infections — including ear infections, sinus infections, and sore throats.

Sometimes it’s caused by the same types of bacteria that cause chlamydia and gonorrhea, two sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Some kinds of pinkeye are noninfectious, such as:

  1. allergic conjunctivitis, which happens more often in kids with other allergic conditions, love hay fever. Triggers include grass, ragweed pollen, animal dander, and dust mites.
  2. irritant conjunctivitis, caused by anything that irritates the eyes, such as air pollution or chlorine in pools

Pinkeye in Newborns

Newborns are at risk for pinkeye and can develop serious health complications if it’s not treated.

If a pregnant lady has an STD, during delivery the bacteria or virus can pass from the birth canal into the baby’s eyes, causing pinkeye.

What allergy causes eyes to water

To prevent this, doctors give antibiotic ointment or eye drops to every babies immediately after birth. Occasionally, this treatment causes a mild chemical conjunctivitis, which generally clears up on its own. Doctors also can screen pregnant women for STDs and treat them during pregnancy to prevent spreading the infection to the baby.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pinkeye?

Besides the telltale red or pink color that gives pinkeye its name, eye discomfort is a common symptom.

Kids might tell that it feels love there’s sand in the eye. Often, there’s some discharge from the eye, and pain and swelling of the conjunctiva. Some kids own swollen eyelids or sensitivity to bright light. Pinkeye can affect one or both eyes.

In cases of allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness and watery eyes are common symptoms.

Allergic conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is generally caused by triggers, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander (hair and dead skin cells from animals), cosmetics or preservatives in eye drops.

Symptoms include:

  1. watery eyes
  2. dark pouches under eyes
  3. sensitivity to light
  4. itchy, burning, sore, red eyes with puffy eyelids
  5. other symptoms of allergy, such as sneezing and a blocked or runny nose

How Is Pinkeye Diagnosed?

If you ponder your kid has pinkeye, it’s significant to see your health care provider to study what’s causing it and how to treat it. Other serious eye conditions can own similar symptoms, so a kid who complains of severe pain, changes in eyesight, swelling around the eyes, or sensitivity to light should be examined.

If you can’t get an in-person visit, you might be capable to do a «video visit» instead.

Telemedicine — when patients and health care providers use technology for the remote diagnosis and treatment of some health conditions — is becoming more and more favorite. Enquire your health care provider if his or her practice participates in telemedicine, and check with your insurance provider to see if this option is covered.

Viral conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus and is contagious. Sometimes it is accompanied by freezing or flu symptoms.

What allergy causes eyes to water

Symptoms include:

  1. itchy and swollen eyes
  2. red, sore, watery or gritty eyes
  3. crusty eyelids


Symptoms can happen in one or both eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Pink eye is generally extremely simple to detect. When the membrane becomes inflamed, it produces mucus and tears to protect the eye.

«It generally starts in a single eye with goopy, thick crusted discharge — you wake up and the eye feels sealed love glue,» said Cindy Weston, an assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Middle College of Nursing.

The other most obvious symptom is reddened whites of the eye.

What allergy causes eyes to water

Inflammation or swelling from pink eye makes blood vessels more visible, causing the redness.

Pink eye can also cause itchy and watery eyes, a grainy feeling in the eye, swelling of the eyelids, cloudy vision, a burning sensation and light sensitivity. Sometimes the lymph node in front of the ear can magnify or become tender or contact lenses may not stay in put or feel uncomfortable because of bumps that may form under the eyelids, according to the NEI.

The symptoms can vary depending on the cause.

Viral conjunctivitis generally comes on quickly and can be associated with «cold» pink-eye-symptoms love runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, congestion, said Weston.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is often marked by thick, yellow-green discharge and can also exhibit cold-like symptoms. It can also sometimes accompany an ear infection, according to the NEI.

Allergic conjunctivitis generally affects both eyes. The eyes will often feel watery, itchy and scratchy. The discharge is clear and may be accompanied by other allergy symptoms including itchy nose, sneezing and clear nasal drainage.

Eye allergy relief

To get relief from your eye allergies and itchy, watery eyes, you can take a few approaches:

Ask about prescription medications

If your allergy symptoms are relatively severe or over-the-counter eye drops are ineffective at providing relief, you may need your eye doctor to prescribe a stronger medication.

Prescription eye drops and oral medications used to relieve eye allergies include:

Use eye drops

Because eye allergies are so common, there are numerous brands of non-prescription eye drops available that are formulated to relieve itchiness, redness and watery eyes caused by allergies.

If your eye allergy symptoms are relatively mild, non-prescription eye drops for allergy relief may work extremely well for you and may be less expensive than prescription eye drops or other medication.

Enquire your eye doctor to recommend a brand to try.

Remove your contacts

Because the surface of contact lenses can attract and accumulate airborne allergens, consider wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy season. Or consider switching to daily disposable contacts that you discard after a single use to avoid the buildup of allergens and other debris on your lenses.

Often, the best choice if allergies are bothering your eyes is to discontinue wearing contacts altogether — at least until every your allergy symptoms are gone. Also, wearing eyeglasses with photochromic lenses can reduce allergy-related sensitivity to light and can assist shield your eyes from airborne allergens.


Part of the body's natural allergic response is the release of histamine, a substance that dilates blood vessels and making the walls of blood vessels abnormally permeable.

Symptoms caused by histamine include a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.

Antihistamines reduce allergic reactions by blocking the attachment of histamine to cells in the body that produce an allergic response.

Avoid allergens

The best approach to controlling your eye allergy symptoms is to do everything you can to limit your exposure to common allergens that you know you are sensitive to.

For example, on days when the pollen count is high, stay indoors as much as possible, with the air conditioner running to filter the air. Use high quality furnace filters that can trap common allergens and replace the filters frequently.

When you do go outdoors during allergy season, wear wraparound sunglasses to assist shield your eyes from pollen, ragweed, etc., and drive with your windows closed.


Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, develops when the blood vessels in the transparent membrane, or conjunctiva, that line the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball get inflamed.

The inflammation causes blood vessels to become more visible and gives the whites of the eyes a distinct pink or red tint, which is where the condition gets its name.

What causes eye allergies

Common allergens include pollen, animal dander and mold.

Eye allergies also can be caused by reactions to certain cosmetics or eye drops, including artificial tears used for treating dry eyes that contain preservatives.

Food allergies and allergic reactions to bee stings or other insect bites typically do not affect the eyes as severely as airborne allergens do.

Eye allergies: Get relief from itchy, watery eyes

By Gary Heiting, OD

Eye allergies — red, itchy, watery eyes that are bothered by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose among seasonal allergy sufferers — are extremely common.

In addition to having symptoms of sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, most of these allergy sufferers also experience itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes and swollen eyelids.

In some cases, eye allergies also can frolic a role in conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections.

If you ponder you own eye allergies, here are a few things you should know — including helpful tips on how to get relief from your red, itchy, watery eyes.


Pink eye is one of the most common ailments to affect both children and adults, according to theNational Eye Institute (NEI).

There are four main factors that can cause pink eye: an allergic reaction, a foreign substance in the eye, a viral infection or a bacterial infection.

When it is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, pink eye can be extremely contagious.

«It is spread when a person touches his or her own eye and then touches the eye of another person; or it is spread to the individual by touching the infection in one’s own nose or sinus,» said Dr. Jill Swartz, practicing physician at GoHealth Urgent Care.

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common form of pink eye and it is most commonly caused by a freezing virus, according to theAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology.

It can also be caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the eye. This bacteria is sometimes the same that causes strep throat.

On the other hand, allergic and foreign-substance-caused conjunctivitis aren’t contagious. Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites or mold. On the other hand, irritant-caused pink eye can result from a foreign object in the eye, contact with chemicals, fumes, cosmetics or from wearing contact lenses for too endless or without cleaning them properly.

Newborns can also get a form of pink eye known as «neonatal conjunctivitis,» from an infection, irritation or blocked tear duct, according to the NEI.


Pink eye can often be treated at home, according to the NEI.

But you should see a doctor if you own moderate to severe pain in the eye, vision problems that don’t improve when the discharge is wiped from the eyes and extreme redness in the eyes. If you own a weakened immune system or ponder you own viral pink eye and the symptoms worsen or don’t get any better with time, it’s also significant to see a doctor, according to the NEI.

Newborns with symptoms of conjunctivitis should see a healthcare provider correct away, according to the CDC.

Virus conjunctivitis infections are typically mild and will resolve on its own within a week or two, according to the NEI.

Mild bacteria-caused pink eye most often also resolves on its own, but antibiotic ointments or eye drops can hasten the process.

For allergic and irritant-caused pink eye, the inflammation will go away on its own once the allergen or irritant is eliminated or greatly reduced.

There are several at-home treatments that can provide some relief. Swartz suggested that it’s best to wipe away the discharge with a warm cloth several times a day.

A freezing compress can also be used to sooth allergic conjunctivitis and a warm compress can be used to sooth viral or bacterial pink eye.

Eye drops may also assist alleviate dryness and assist with swelling. Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine.

Contact lens wearers with pink eye should stop wearing their contact lenses until their eyes heal. They should also throw away any used contacts.

Pink eye is generally contagious until the tearing, discharge and matting of the eyes goes away. This can final up to two weeks.