How can I help prevent allergy symptoms that affect my eyes and eyelids?

If possible, avoid exposure to whatever is causing your eye allergy. If that's not an option, though, your doctor may recommend medicated anti-allergy eye drops. For mild cases, non-prescription eye drops can often be used. For tougher cases, prescription eye drops may be needed. To reduce inflammation, some doctors will recommend anti-inflammatory eye drops.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If allergies are making your eyes puffy, forget the concealers and the foundation—it's more effective to wipe away the pollen that's causing the problem, says allergy specialist and Dr. Oz Show guest Clifford Bassett. In this video, Dr. Bassett tells Dr. Oz about a product that makes it easy.

Dr. David R. Demartini, MD
Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

The eyes are a part of the whole body and subject to any allergies that happen to the rest of the body. Hence the eyelids or globes can swell and itch similar to the skin or the tongue if the patient is highly allergic. All allergic reactions are caused by an over active immune system.

Because the eyes are open to the outside world and not protected by clothing they often start the feelings of allergy ahead of the rest of the body, especially when it comes to environmental allergies (pollen dust, trees, grasses etc.). The itching, redness, tearing and swelling are typical of environmental or contact allergy. Cold compresses, over the counter decongestant and antihistamine drops are readily available. Prescription drops and pills for allergy are available and quite effective but require a doctor's prescription. Avoidance is also very helpful if possible.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, MD
Allergist & Immunologist

Here are a few practical tips to help prevent allergy symptoms that affect your eyes and eyelids:

  • Lids off: Gently irrigate your eyelids (while your eyes are closed) with a mild, tear-free "baby" shampoo to remove excess allergens and pollutants which may have accumulated. Check with your provider (especially if you wear contact lenses or have other eye problems) to learn whether anti-allergy eye and/or moisturizing drops may also be helpful and safe.
  • Block your eyes: Wear sunglasses to block pollens from entering and getting into your eyes.
  • Wash wisely: Rinse off your eyeglasses and shower and shampoo your hair every night to remove allergy causing pollens that collect during the day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.