Are you frantically searching online for the answer to the question, “Can allergy cause dry eyes?” because you don’t know what’s happening and why your eyes are drying out all of a sudden?
Well, the answer to that question is rather simple – allergy doesn’t cause dry eyes.
Although the two are the most common eye-related problems outside of needing prescription glasses, allergies and dry eyes are different. They may share a number of similarities, but they are distinctly different enough to be considered not the same.
How to Tell if You Have Allergies
Eye allergies are characterized by redness and tearing, similar to dry eye. You may also experience itching as well. However, the main difference is that, with allergies, it’s triggered by something that’s not unusually harmful.
There are many good examples of potential triggers of eye allergies. This includes dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, pet fur, and more. In rare cases, eye allergies can be so severe that it may require medical attention. Most of the time, though, you can take over-the-counter medication such as antihistamine to combat the allergen’s effects on your body. It would also benefit you to stay away from allergy-triggers for the mean time.
How to Tell if You Have Dry Eyes
Similar to allergies, dry eyes can be characterized by redness and tearing. The main difference is that it’s not caused by allergens. Rather, it’s often the result of spending too much time in front of computers, televisions, or your mobile phone. Because such activities require a lot of concentration, you subconsciously don’t blink as often as you should. This causes your eyes to dry out, leading to a burning feeling and an urge to scratch your eyes.
Prolonged screen time isn’t just the only cause of dry. There are multiple possible causes, such as certain types of medication, a sign of getting older, rosacea, autoimmune disorders, spending too much time in windy or dry environments, as well as a temporary effect of laser eye surgery.
How Do You Treat Dry Eyes and Allergies?
Because dry eyes and allergies are different, they also require different treatment.
For dry eye, treatment is focused on using tear lubricants to moisturize the eyes and fixing any underlying inflammation. Meanwhile, for eye allergies, it is recommended to take antihistamine and avoid allergy-triggers as soon as possible.
Dry eyes can make it particularly difficult to wear contact lenses. Because wearing contact lenses already make the eyes more prone to drying out, you’ll need to use a type of contact lens that’s more resistant to drying out. It’s best to ask your ophthalmologist for their recommendations in such cases.
If you are prone to allergies and insist on wearing contact lenses, it’s better to wear 1-day disposable lenses. They’re a lot less prone to drying and falling out when your allergies attack.
Most people prefer not to go to the doctor to have their dry eye or eye allergy problems treated. This usually works for the latter because over-the-counter antihistamines are often very effective. But, for dry eye, it might be better to consult an eye doctor instead. Although it is possible to self-medicate dry eye at home, the eye doctor will be able to diagnose your problem and give you a list of treatment options that are often more effective and, in some cases, cheaper.