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Allergies vs Dry Eyes

Allergies vs Dry Eyes

Allergies vs Dry Eyes

Spring may be a time of renewal and new beginnings, but for many it can also mean allergies. Depending on what part of the country you live in, this can come on at different months. Due to the mild winter in the DMV region, allergies have begun much earlier this year. The severity of the symptoms can also vary from patient to patient. We will discuss the symptoms experienced with ocular allergies, and how this is different from dry eye syndrome.

Seasonal allergies can affect people differently. Some of the common symptoms of ocular allergies are: redness, watery eyes, itching, white ropy discharge, and swollen eyelids. Someone with ocular allergies can have one or multiple of these symptoms. Unfortunately, some of these symptoms are very similar to dry eye syndrome. Here are some ways to tell the difference.

The time of day you experience the symptoms can be a clue to whether you have dry eyes or allergies. Allergies tend to be worse in the mornings and the symptoms improve as the day goes on. Dry eyes tend to get worse in the evening, especially if you are on the computer most of the day.

Another difference between dry eyes and allergies is if the symptoms are relieved if you rub your eyes. If you suffer from dry eyes, as you rub your eyes more tears are produced and subsequently your symptoms are temporarily relieved. However, with allergies as you rub your eyes, the symptoms get worse. On a side note, you should not rub your eyes no matter which condition it is.

Lastly, the time of year could be a major clue as to which condition you might have. Dry eyes tend to be worse in the dry months of the year, especially in the winter. Allergies are worse in the springtime.

These are just a few ways you can tell if you have dry eyes or allergic conjunctivitis. However, patients can have both conditions at once. The best way to find out how to treat these conditions would be to see your eye doctor, so she can provide you with the right treatment to relieve the symptoms.

Start taking care of your eye health today!