Pinkeye (or conjunctivitis) from an allergy is not
contagious and often occurs during the same season, year after year. A
substance (allergen) causes a reaction in the lining of the eye
that makes the eye red, swollen, itchy, and teary. Spring and fall are the most
common times of the year for this kind of pinkeye to occur.
Pinkeye can be caused by many substances that come in contact with
the eye, such as eye medicines (especially those containing neomycin),
makeup, contact lens solution, pollens, or chemical fumes. Pinkeye caused by contact
with a substance may occur in one eye only. These eye symptoms may also bother
people who have other allergy-related problems, such as hay fever, asthma, and
skin allergies (eczema).
If you tend to have a recurrence of styes, you may need to practice better eyelid hygiene. That means regular lid scrubs to remove excess germs and dead skin cells, which bacteria feed on. Put a few drops of mild baby shampoo into a teacup of warm water and stir. Using a cotton swab or wash cloth, gently brush the soapy solution along the base of your eyelashes while keeping your lids closed. Don't have time to mix baby shampoo? Scrub your closed lids with a washcloth with baby shampoo in the shower...
You may have similar nose or throat allergy symptoms when you have
Allergic pinkeye is usually treated at home with cold compresses and
nonprescription eyedrops, such as naphazoline (Naphcon-A). If symptoms
continue, a visit to a doctor is needed. Severe cases of allergic pinkeye may
require treatment by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) or an allergy specialist.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
November 2, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 02, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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