ZocdocAnswersWhy are my eyes so itchy and watery?

Question

Why are my eyes so itchy and watery?

Never had any trouble with allergies and don't have any other allergy symptoms, but my eyes have been very itchy and watery over the last week. Could something other than allergies be causing this? Do I have pink eye or something?

Answer

Pink eye, or infectious conjunctivitis, is a common condition. It occurs when the surface of the eyes becomes infected, usually with a common virus, such as one of the viruses that typically cause upper respiratory tract infections. Symptoms include itching and burning of the eyes, or a "gritty" feeling, as well as discharge and redness. Pink eye typically gets better on its own and does not usually require treatment. Keeping the eyes clean and dry, and washing your hands frequently to avoid spreading the infection is usually enough. Eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, is also a possibility. The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are essentially the same as from pink eye, as both will cause redness, itching, and tearing. Often, if the symptoms are from an attack of allergies, there may also be other symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal stuffiness, cough, and congestion, but not always. You could develop allergies at any point, even if you have not had them before in your life. I suggest that you go see your doctor. They will be able to help you figure out what the cause of this condition is and help you decide whether any form of treatment is necessary. Good luck!

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