Does Allergy Cause Dry Eye?

Allergy is a common health problem that affects a person’s quality of life. Allergic reactions, which occur as a result of exposure to various allergens, are characterized by symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing and itchy skin. But it is not enough to say that it is limited to this. In addition to all these effects, the eyes can also be affected by allergic reactions and this can, of course, cause dry eyes. In this article, we’ll look at how allergies can cause dry eyes, the symptoms and the measures that can be taken to manage the condition.

How allergies affect the eyes

Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to harmless substances (allergens). The allergen varies from person to person and the type of reaction can also vary. Chemicals such as histamine are released during the reaction and these substances can cause various eye disorders. Allergic reactions in the eyes are often called allergic conjunctivitis and are characterized by the following symptoms

  • Itching in the eyes
  • Redness
  • Watering
  • Burning sensation
  • Swelling

All these symptoms and the effects of allergies can lead to imbalances in the tear film on the surface of the eyes, which keeps the eyes moist. The tear film consists of three layers: lipid (oil), aqueous (water) and mucin (mucus). Allergic reactions can affect the production and quality of these layers, causing dry eyes.

Alerji Kuru Göze Neden Olur mu?The Relationship Between Dry Eyes and Allergies

Dry eye is a condition in which the surface of the eye is not sufficiently moist. During allergic reactions, inflammation in the eyes can disrupt the functioning of the tear glands. This can lead to reduced tear production or increased evaporation of existing tears. As a result, the eyes may feel dry, irritated and uncomfortable.

In addition, scratching and rubbing the eyes during allergic reactions can also damage the tear film. This makes it difficult to protect the surface of the eye and can lead to further dryness, as well as contributing to the development of keratoconus.

Dry Eye and Allergy Management

There are several strategies to manage dry eye symptoms caused by allergies:

Allergy Treatment

Medicines such as antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids can be used to relieve allergy symptoms. These medicines can reduce inflammation in the eyes by controlling allergic reactions.

Tear Drops

Artificial tear drops can be used to keep the surface of the eye moist. These drops can alleviate the symptoms of dryness by replacing missing components of the tear film.

Environmental Control

Avoiding allergens is one of the most effective ways to reduce dry eyes. Avoiding spending time outdoors during peak pollen periods and keeping dust and animal hair at home to a minimum can reduce allergic reactions in the eyes.

Eye Hygiene

Washing the eyes frequently, keeping the eyelids clean and avoiding rubbing the eyes can reduce the severity of allergic reactions and dry eyes.

Alerji Kuru Göze Neden Olur mu?


Allergies can cause an uncomfortable feeling of dryness in the eyes. This is caused by imbalances in the tear film during allergic reactions.

Dry eye symptoms can be managed with strategies such as allergy treatment, use of artificial tear drops and allergen avoidance.

Alleviating dry eye caused by allergies is important to improve quality of life. It is important to remember that consulting an ophthalmologist is the best step for chronic or severe dry eye symptoms.

Assoc. Prof. Aylin Kılıç

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