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Can Allergies Make Your Eye Twitch?

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A woman is outdoors, sneezing into a tissue with her eyes closed due to her allergies.

If you’re one of the millions who suffer from allergies, you know how frustrating they can be. Those itchy sensations, watery eyes, and constant sneezing can be problematic. But can allergies also cause eye twitches, or could that be a sign of a more serious eye condition?

Allergic reactions send most bodily systems into overdrive. Your eyes can develop a frustrating itch and flood themselves with tears. The tiny muscles inside your eyelids can also start to spasm, causing an uncontrollable eye twitch.

Don’t worry—while it may be alarming at first, this is a common occurrence and usually goes away on its own once you are clear of the allergen. If your eye twitching lasts for more than a few days, talk to your optometrist to discuss solutions.

Do Allergies Affect the Eyes?

When you have an allergy attack, your immune system begins to overreact—even if the triggering substance isn’t harmful. The immune system begins releasing chemicals, like histamines, designed to fight off the allergen and remove it from your body.

To do so, this reaction causes inflammation throughout different parts of the body. The allergic response can affect almost everything, especially the more sensitive systems like the eyes. That’s why you’ll often experience redness, itching, and swelling during an allergy attack—the immune system is trying to do everything it can to flush away allergens.

Some common allergens include:

  • Pollen from trees, grass, and weeds, especially during high pollen seasons.
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold spores
  • Certain foods

Allergies can affect people to almost any degree. Some people just experience some mild irritation, while others may experience full-blown anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Whether or not your allergies are severe, it’s essential to take steps to manage them and minimize their impact on your everyday life—and it all starts with learning to recognize the signs of an allergy attack.

Recognizing the Signs of Allergies

So, how can you tell if your eye symptoms are due to allergies? Try to keep an eye out for the following tell-tale signs:

  • Itching or burning sensations in the eyes
  • Puffy, swollen eyelids
  • Redness in the white part of the eye
  • Excessive tearing or watery eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes

If you notice these symptoms along with sneezing, an itchy throat, or a runny nose, you’re likely dealing with allergies.

Allergies & Eye Twitching

When your eyes are irritated, like during an allergic reaction, the surrounding systems and muscles can quickly become strained and fatigued. This inflammation and discomfort can cause the tiny muscles in your eyelids to spasm uncontrollably, leading to eye twitches.

Generally, this is harmless—if a little frustrating. These twitches typically go away once the allergen is removed or treated. However, if the twitching persists or becomes more frequent of a problem, visit your optometrist; they’ll be able to thoroughly assess the area to rule out potential problems.

An off-screen optometrist carefully applies eye drops to a male patient's eye.

Can an Optometrist Help with Allergies?

Allergies aren’t often a fun experience. If you find that you’re constantly dealing with eye-related symptoms of an allergy attack, it helps to see your optometrist. Remember: they’re an eye care professional, and they can help to identify specific allergens, advise you on target treatments, and find you relief from your symptoms.

When it comes to treating eye-related allergy symptoms, your optometrist will likely recommend:

  • Artificial tears to flush out allergens
  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops
  • Oral antihistamines

After examining your eyes, they’ll be able to recommend an appropriate course of action based on your specific situation. They’ll also likely give you advice on preventing future allergy attacks so you can enjoy your days in peace.

Tips for Preventing Allergies

While you can’t always avoid allergens, there are steps you can take to minimize your exposure:

  • Stay indoors on high pollen count days
  • Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from allergens
  • Wash your hands frequently to avoid transferring allergens to your eyes
  • Use air purifiers in your home
  • Shower before bed to rinse off any allergens clinging to your hair and skin

By taking a proactive approach, you can help keep those pesky allergies at bay, and say goodbye to those twitching feelings and irritated eyes. 

Talk to Our Team to Find Relief

At Santa Cruz Optometric Center, we take pride in helping our patients find relief from all kinds of different eye problems. We’re here to help provide a proper diagnosis for your problem, and we’ll work closely with you to make a plan to find relief.

Don’t suffer from eye twitches and allergies in silence—book an appointment with our team today!

Written by Total Vision

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