Seeing Pink? It Could Be Allergies

Are you suffering from pink, itchy, watery eyes? It may not be pinkeye; it could be a sign of seasonal allergies. Learning to recognize the differences can help you get the right treatment.

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Prevention of the symptoms of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis


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What are eye allergies?

We all know that a stuffy, runny nose, and a scratchy throat are signs of seasonal allergies. But don’t ignore your eyes... they could be telling you something, too. Having itchy, watery eyes, and pinkness in the whites of your eyes could be signs of a condition called allergic conjunctivitis, a common and treatable seasonal eye allergy.

Allergic conjunctivitis happens when the thin transparent layer (called the conjunctiva) that covers the white part of your eye becomes inflamed.

Did you know some people with seasonal allergies have only eye symptoms... not a runny or stuffy nose?

Eye allergy symptoms

The most common sign of allergic conjunctivitis is a pink or even red colour appearing on the whites of your eyes.

Other typical eye allergy symptoms you may experience include:
  • Watery eyes, producing more tears than usual
  • Itchy or burning sensations in the eyes
  • A sandy, gritty or scratchy feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Mild sensitivity to bright light

Symptoms may affect one eye only, or both eyes at the same time. Most often, it will affect both.

Eye allergy triggers

Eye allergies can be triggered by the same things that produce allergies in your nose or throat, including:

  • Grass, tree and weed pollens
  • Dust mites and mould
  • Pet hair and dander
  • Smoggy, polluted air

But other things can produce an allergic reaction in your eyes, too, including:

  • Chlorine or other chemicals in swimming pools
  • Wearing contact lenses for too long without cleaning them
  • Reactions to some drugs or cosmetics

Treating eye allergies

The best way to treat eye allergies is to remove what’s causing your allergic reaction. That’s why identifying and avoiding your allergy triggers is so important.
  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are high
  • Avoid furry pets if they bother you
  • Wear goggles when you swim in a pool

Eye drops are available to help soothe your eyes when they are inflamed.

You can also try an antihistamine, but some can dry your eyes, making the irritation worse. Check with your healthcare provider or your Walmart Pharmacist if you’re not sure.


What is pinkeye?

Sometimes, red or pink eyes can be caused by things besides allergies. When caused by a bacteria or a virus, it is called infectious conjunctivitis, or pinkeye. Pinkeye usually starts in one eye, although it can spread to the other eye too.

Many symptoms of pinkeye are the same as those caused by an allergy:
  • Pink in the whites of the eyes
  • Itchy, burning feeling
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision or sensitivity to light

But pinkeye may have other symptoms too:
  • Grey or yellow drainage that can form crusts in the morning
  • Sore throat or respiratory problems, like a cold


Is pinkeye contagious?

Yes. Unlike eye allergies, pinkeye can spread easily, since it’s caused by a bacteria or a virus. You should be careful to avoid spreading it to someone else:
  • Wash your hands often
  • Try not to touch your eyes or face
  • Use a clean towel or washcloth daily, and don’t share it
  • Change your pillowcases often
Cleaning the crusts from your eyes is important. Wipe from the inside corner of the eye to the outside, using a clean part of a moist cloth for each wipe.
If you think you might have pinkeye, talk to the Pharmacist at Walmart, who can discuss treatment options and whether you should see your doctor.

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is knowledgeable about all kinds of eye allergies and how to find relief. Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

The pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
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