Eye Allergies​

Eye allergies, also known as ‘allergic conjunctivitis’ are common disorder in response to allergens in the air, such as dust, pet fur, cigarette smoke, pollen or mould. Your eyes become itchy and watery, and you also witness some redness in your eyes. When your eyes become exposed to an allergen, histamine is produced, which causes red and watery eyes, with itchiness and burning. 

Eye allergies leading to conjunctivitis are not contagious, unlike bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. It may occur only seasonally as some allergens in the air increase during certain seasons, such as pollen. Though eye allergies may cause discomfort and you may find them annoying, they do not cause any serious or permanent damage to your eyes. People who suffer from eye allergies usually also suffer from nasal allergies. 

Eye allergies may occur suddenly, especially in the allergy season (acute eye allergies), or they may continuously appear throughout the year due to allergens around you (chronic eye allergies). If exposure to allergens on a long-term basis is causing chronic eye allergies, you must try to get immediate treatment and remove the allergen to prevent significant burning, itching or even sensitivity to light.​

Symptoms of eye allergies may appear seasonally or all year round. Typical symptoms include:

  • Itchiness and redness in the eyes

  • Burning of the eyes

  • Clear, watery discharge from the eyes

  • Sensitivity to bright lights

  • Puffy eyes

  • Swelling of the eye lids

These symptoms may be accompanied by symptoms of allergic rhinitis, such as nasal congestion, sneezing or a runny nose. Some people may rub their eyes a lot due to itchiness, worsening their symptoms more. ​

​Chronic eye allergies that interfere with your normal daily activities must be treated immediately as they can cause much discomfort. See your eye doctor if the symptoms of eye allergies described above do not improve in a week or ten days and worsen over time.

You can be assured of receiving the best quality medical care at The Aga Khan University Hospital. Our expert and highly trained staff at the <Eye and ENT Service Line> can provide you with expert medical advice. We have an internationally accredited staff with which you can safely and privately discuss your symptoms, gain advice and receive personalized treatment and care.​

​Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Your doctor will ask you specific questions to find out if you have a history of allergies. Thereby, your eye will be examined, with signs such as redness and swelling of the eye lids indicating that you have eye allergies. 

Since eye allergies are caused by allergens, the first step towards treatment is to remove the allergen causing your discomfort. You could take measures, such as:

  • Avoiding staying outdoor during pollen season

  • Wearing sunglasses to prevent allergens from getting into your eyes

  • Washing your bed linen frequently to avoid dust mites

  • Dust and mop regularly to keep the house free of dust mites

  • Keeping your bathrooms, kitchens and basements clean to prevent the build-up of mould

  • Avoid having pets or keep them out of the house as much as possible, or at least out of the bedroom.

  • Avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals, dyes, and perfumes

  • Do not rub your eyes continuously

  • Use a warm or cool compress to manage irritation and inflammation

Besides these at-home measures, your doctor may also prescribe anti-histamine medications to help provide relief from your symptoms. Anti-inflammatory eye drops and steroid eye drops may also be prescribed. 

​The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

​Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.