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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Resources > Ask the Allergist

Eye Allergy Symptoms and Signs

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of an eye allergy?

A: Itching is always present when a person has eye allergies.  Tearing and bloodshot eyes are also common in allergic eyes.  If your eyes are not itchy, another diagnosis should be considered.

People with dry eyes can be misdiagnosed as having eye allergies, which might complicate matters as certain allergy treatments can make this dryness worse.

If you experience itchy eyes in the Spring or Fall, you are more likely to have seasonal allergies versus another problem.  However, that depends on where you live in the U.S, and most people with nasal allergies also have eye allergies.

A good guideline:

  • If it's red, burning, and there's sticky discharge, it's infection.
  • If it's itching, burning, and scratchy or dry, it's dry eye.
  • If it's itching, burning, and there's teary discharge, it's allergy.

Allergy and Asthma Relief Test

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