Eye Allergies: Brief Version
What are eye allergies?
Eye allergies are an allergic reaction to an allergic substance on the eye. Eye allergies can cause your child's eyes to:
- Itch (no pain).
- Tear more.
- Turn red or pink (no pus).
- Swell (the eyelids).
Eye allergies that happen around the same time every year are caused by pollens from plants in the air. Allergies caused by pollen last about 4 to 6 weeks. Other kinds of allergies can be caused by pets (like cats), feathers, perfumes, or eye makeup.
How can I take care of my child?
Here are some things you can do to help:
- Wash your child's face. Use a clean washcloth and cool water. This will clean any pollen off the eyelids.
- Tell your child not to touch his eyes.
- Your child should shower, shampoo, and change clothes after playing outside.
- Use air conditioning or an air purifier if you can. This helps clean the pollen out of the air.
- Use eyedrops prescribed by your doctor, if needed. Antihistamine eyedrops that you can buy without a prescription may help too.
- If your child has hay fever, he also needs an oral antihistamine. You can buy Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin without a prescription. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which one to use.
Call your child's doctor during office hours if:
- Using a washcloth and an antihistamine do not make your child better in 2 or 3 days.
- You have other concerns or questions.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, MD, author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-22
Last reviewed: 2010-06-02
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes
available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical
evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.