Dry and allergic eye disease

Like most retinal allergies, dry eye causes itchy red eyes. Even though eye allergies and dry eye share similar symptoms, the underlying causes may differ. Dry eye is an eye disease that occurs due to insufficient lubrication from tears. Usually, there's no discharge when it comes to dry eye, but there may be excessive tearing. Dry eyes are uncomfortable and may sting when on an aeroplane or while riding a bike or staring at a computer screen.

Allergic eye disease or allergic conjunctivitis is similar to asthma that triggers an allergic reaction to allergens from the environment. The conjunctiva, the lining of the eyeball is prone to irritants like dust, mould spores and pollen. When exposed to allergens, the eyes flare-up, water, or dry out.


Dry eye arises as a result of damage to the tear film. The tear film comprises of three main layers: oils, fluid and mucous. The tear film ensures the eye surface remains smooth, translucent and lubricated. Issues from any of these three layers lead to dry eyes. Dry eye mainly occurs when there’s insufficient aqueous fluid to water the eyes. Ageing, the use of antihistamines and birth control, hormonal therapy, allergic eye disease and corneal damage contribute to dry eyes.


  • Sensitive to light

  • Blurry vision

  • Burning sensation in the eyes

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty seeing at night


A detailed eye exam helps find the underlying cause of dry eyes. A Schirmer test measures the volume of tears one produces. A Schirmer test calculates the volume of tears through the use of filter paper/strips.


Treatment for mild dry eye includes over-the-counter eye drops. But if symptoms of the condition persist, other measures are necessary. Also, ophthalmologists, Dr Miller needs to find the underlying cause of dry eye to relieve symptoms of the syndrome. If allergic conjunctivitis is the cause of red, itchy and watery eyes, Dr Miller prescribes anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid eye drops to relieve discomfort.


Is dry eye disease painful?
This disease can be more uncomfortable than painful, but some people experience extreme pain and blurred vision.
Is allergic eye disease curable?
Modern treatments make this disease completely manageable through oral and topical treatments.
Can dry eye disease lead to blindness?
It is very unlikely that dry eye disease causes blindness.