Allergic reactions to the eye and eyelid are quite common. More than half of all cases of conjunctivitis is allergic; eyes are sensitive to irritants such as soap, cosmetics, detergents or fabric softener, or simply airborne allergens that have come in direct contact with the eye (usually during high pollen seasons). Pollen and dust can trigger a histamine release which causes local tissue inflammation.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to the eyes include redness, tearing, oozing, crusting, and itching. These symptoms are commonly associated with coughing, sneezing, and nasal congestion.
The two primary types of ocular allergies are seasonal and chronic. Seasonal eye allergies are most common and associated with high levels of air pollens that are present in the spring and the fall. Chronic eye allergies are less common but potentially more severe. They are linked to allergens that are present all year in the air, such as dust, mold, and animal dander.
Treatment options for ocular allergies include topical allergy eye drops, avoidance of the allergen, and lubricating eye drops to rinse out the offending agent.