Itchy Tearing Eyes | How to Treat Allergic Conjunctivitis

Spring is here and so are itchy eyes.  Due to a shortened Spring, the pollen counts in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas have reached record highs.

The pollen makes most of us miserable, with or without true allergies.  Pollen can cause tremendous allergic reactions in our eyes producing the annoying symptoms of tearing and itchy eyes.

Allergic Reaction

When pollen comes into contact with our eyes, it can set off an allergic reaction.  The cornea and conjunctiva are the principal parts of the eye which can react strongly.

Pollen causes our eyes to release “histamine,” the principal agent in allergic reactions.  Histamine is responsible for the intense itchiness, puffiness and tearing that we all experience.

Pollen Everywhere

Pollen is everywhere.  The yellow dusting of pollen covers our cars and gets into our eyes.  Pollen is unavoidable.

The condensed Spring has increased the levels of pollens from trees, grass, flowers, etc.  Everything beautiful of Spring seems to have pollen.

Treating Eye Allergies

There are two ways to combat your eye allergies:  limit exposure to the pollen and decrease the effects of the histamine released from our eyes.

Reduce exposure:

  • Consider sunglasses or wrap-around eye wear to reduce the amount of pollen getting into our eyes
  • Artificial tears, available without prescription, can be used liberally to wash out the pollen.
  • Lid hygiene – use a wash cloth to soak your lids routinely, this can insure your ducts stay open and clean to optimize the quality and quantity of your own natural tears
  • Over the counter nasal sprays and eye drops can control the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, consider consulting your doctor before using
  • Special masks to block exposure to pollen

Several prescription strength medications are available from your doctor such as; allergy eye drops, nasal sprays and oral antihistamines.


We look forward to seeing you. If you have questions or want to make an appointment, please give us a call.

Gregory Scimeca, M.D.
Ophthalmologist and Medical Director

Burlington County Eye Physicians
Eye Professionals, LLC (Millville, NJ)
Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Bucks County (Langhorne, PA)