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Can Allergies Cause Dry Eyes?

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Woman scratching her eyes and wincing in pain because of dry eyes

If you’ve noticed that your eyes feel dry, uncomfortable, and itchy, you may be wondering if allergies are the cause.

Allergies can certainly contribute to dry eye symptoms. However, there could be several other reasons your eyes feel dry and uncomfortable. 

Let’s explore whether allergies can lead to dry eyes and what you can do about it

How Do Allergic Reactions Affect Your Eyes? 

A person can develop an allergic reaction when they are exposed to substances like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander that their body perceives as a threat. The body responds by releasing histamine, which can cause irritated, watery eyes and sneezing.

Other Causes of Dry Eyes 

Dry eyes can occur when our tears fail to provide enough lubrication for our eyes. It can be caused by various factors, like the environment, medication, age, gender, and systemic issues.

  • The environment can affect dry eye symptoms: hot and dry houses in the winter, air-conditioned homes in the summer, and windy, smoky, and dry climates all play their part.
  • Certain medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants, and hormone replacement therapies might also cause dry eye as a side effect.
  • As we age, tear production also slows, leading to further dryness.
  • Women may be more susceptible to developing dry eyes due to hormonal changes.
  • Systemic disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome or lupus are often linked to dry eyes alongside conditions such as diabetes, thyroid imbalances, and vitamin A deficiency.

It is important to keep on top of all these risk factors so that if you develop any dry eye symptoms, they are identified early and treated accordingly.

Optometrist attentively listens to his patient while jotting down some notes

How to Diagnose Dry Eyes

The best thing you can do is consult an eye doctor to determine if allergies are causing your dry eyes or if another explanation is responsible for them.

Diagnosing and treating dry eyes typically begins with a comprehensive eye exam. Your optometrist may request you fill out a questionnaire, and they may perform tests to measure the quality of your tears to identify where your dry eye symptoms are coming from. 

Your optometrist can evaluate the quality of your tears to determine if any of the 3 main ingredients are lacking. This can indicate the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms.

From there, your optometrist can develop a personalized treatment plan to help you regain comfortable vision.

Treatment Options for Dry Eyes

Treating dry eyes depends on the root cause, but many options are available for relief.

These include prescription medications, punctal plugs, specialty contact lenses, warm compresses or eye masks, and over-the-counter artificial tears.

Getting to the Bottom of Dry Eyes: The Eye Gallery Can Help!

Allergies can certainly be one of the primary causes of dry eyes. To receive the most accurate and effective treatment, speaking with an optometrist is important to determine what may trigger your dry eyes.

At The Eye Gallery, we’re passionate about providing patient services with skilled, experienced professionals in an invitingly warm atmosphere.

If you’re seeking relief from dry eyes, book an appointment with The Eye Gallery today. Our friendly team looks forward to helping you feel better.

Written by Dr. Megan Baldwin

As a Kansas native (born and raised in Kingman), Dr. Baldwin is thrilled to practice what she loves so close to home. She can’t imagine anything better than to care for her community and build strong ties with new friends and colleagues.

When She’s not in the office caring for her patients, Dr. Baldwin enjoys making memories with her husband, Aaron, and two sweet kids, Parker and Stella! You’ll often find her playing piano, hosting her friends and family in her home, or out for a run. Dr. Baldwin and her husband enjoy traveling to warm places and recently became open-water scuba diver certified!

She chose eye care as her career because Dr. Baldwin has always wanted to help people. The quality of care she provides is incredibly important to her. In an age where doctors spend just a few minutes with their patients, she is proud to give her patients the time and diligence they deserve. More than to simply “see” you, Dr. Baldwin wants to learn more about you and how she can best serve your needs. Your relationship matters.

Dr. Baldwin invites you to make an appointment for yourself or your children, whether you have an eye concern or are simply seeking an updated corrective lens prescription. She will always do her best to provide you the best eye care available anywhere in Wichita.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Member, Kansas Optometric Association (KOA)
  • Member, American Optometric Association (AOA)
  • Member, Business Networking International (BNI)


  • Bachelor of Science (chemistry) – Bethel College, 2007
  • Doctor of Optometry – Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry, 2011
    • Graduated Magna Cum Laude
    • Member of the Beta Sigma Kappa honor society
    • Presented with “Outstanding Clinician in Ocular Disease” award
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