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How do allergies directly affect the eye?

Another question I get asked is how do allergies directly affect the eyes?

Well, first of all, the eye has some really good natural defenses, our eyelids and eyelashes, as well as the eyebrows help to mechanically keep out these irritants, but the tears do an amazing job.

Our tears have a couple of ways.

Chemically, they have certain chemicals in them that help to prevent this reaction from occurring, but also mechanically, this helped to flush or wash away these irritants.

But sometimes there's just too many irritants or not enough tears.

And when those things happen, we get the allergic reaction in the eyes.

The first time most patients complain about is itchy eyes, and it can range from a mild itchy eye to (where) I have patients coming in who want to feel like they want to claw their eyes out.

It can be that bad.

We also get redness.

That's a hallmark sign of inflammation is the red and itchy eye.

We also get, get discharged.

And for some people that's a watery discharge.

Other people get a stringy white discharge with their allergies.