Puffy Itchy Eyes Allergies- What to do?

Allergic reaction! Eye allergy is infamous! If your eyes are itchy and red, with or without burning sensation, you may have an eye allergy. Eye allergy affects billions of people in the world. The itchy and burning sensation makes your eyes watery. The water accumulates in the lower lids, which makes your eyes puffy! There are many causes for puffy itchy under eyes. Yet, managing the condition caused due to allergy is different from managing puffy eyes caused due to other reasons. What should you do when you developed puffy itchy under eyes due to allergies?

Before you go further, just make sure that your puffy itchy eyes are caused due to allergies.

What causes eye allergy that leads to puffy itchy under eyes?

Eye allergy is quite strange. You may certainly wonder at how you fall prey to eye allergy. Eye allergy that causes puffy itchy under eyes is an immunity response from your body. Rather, it is an overreaction to something that normally causes no harms in most of the people. The term ‘something’ refers to an allergen. It can be dust or mold or any perfume fragrance. When this allergen contacts the eyes, or when you inhale the fragrance that smells odd, immune system reacts sensitively.

Histamine triggers puffy itchy under eyes

When you smell a new perfume it won’t harm you. However, your brain realizes that the smell is new and you are not familiar with the fragrance. It signals about the same to the immune system, where the immune system fears about the new fragrance that it may affect the body. Instantly, the eye cells respond to the allergen by releasing histamine. Histamine causes leakage of blood vessels and blood leaks in the eyes that makes your eyes itchy, puffy, watery and red!

Isn’t that interesting?

Symptoms of eye allergy causing puffy itchy under eyes

Eye allergies often share the symptoms of other diseases of the eyes including the puffy itchy eyes. So, it makes getting the right diagnosis too hard. Following are the symptoms that associate with swollen and itchy under eyes caused by allergy.

  • Itching – Moderate to Severe (it makes you rub the eyes often)
  • Watery discharge – You shed tears for no reason
  • Burning sensation
  • Redness of the eyes

In many cases, an eye allergy often includes the symptoms of nasal allergies, which includes,

  • Stuffy nose
  • Mild irritation in the nose
  • Congestion or nose block
  • Sneezing

Allergy triggers that causes puffy itchy under eyes

When you gain some knowledge about the eye allergy triggers, you can prevent eye allergy, avoid the exposure and find appropriate treatment to cure the allergy. If your puffy itchy eyes are not due to allergy, check here for other treatment options for puffy itchy under eyes. Here we will talk about the allergens that cause itchy puffy eyes and undereyes.

Indoor Allergens:

Allergens are everywhere, even inside your bedroom. Make sure your home is clean from dust mites, mold, etc. Remember these words, ‘Neat and Clean’. Dust off the home frequently. Don’t load the unwanted stuff at home.

Outdoor Allergens:

Weeds, pollen from grass, stinging bugs, etc are outdoor allergens.

Nasal Allergens:

Eyes and nose are connected through tiny tubes, vessels and tissues. When you inhale something with unpleasant odor that may turn as irritant and leads to nasal allergy. Nasal allergy has direct association with eye allergy. For instance, smoking, perfumes, certain fragrances, exhausts of diesel or diesel products, etc. may cause nasal allergy, which may outgrow as eye allergy causing irritation to the eyes.

Remember, if a certain fragrance irritates you and causes puffy itchy under eyes, it need not be an allergic trigger and irritate everyone. Smoking may not hurt you, but it could be a nasal allergen to your neighbor. You may not like the smell of perfume as it irritates you, but your spouse may love it.

Food Allergy:

Beside these allergens, food allergy also leads to puffy itchy under eyes. For instance, a lot of people with seafood allergy or allergy towards soya foods develop baggy eyes accompanied by itchiness and redness.

Management of puffy itchy eyes caused by allergy

In many cases, puffy itchy under eyes caused by an allergen needs no treatment. Within a day, it may subside on its own. Thank your immunity as it helps you to beat the allergy symptoms and the puffiness. Yet, avoiding the exposure to triggers is essential to prevent aggravation and recurrence.


Since eye allergy has many triggers that leads to puffy itchy under eyes, identifying the triggers and self management to prevent allergen exposure often controls the aggravation of the condition.

Outdoor Exposure:

  • Try to stay indoors to the maximum extent possible when pollens are found everywhere. Usually, during the early evening, the wind blows and the pollens happily move around. Rarely, you may also find the pollens during the mid morning. So brace yourself and don’t exposure yourself to pollens.
  • If you can’t stay indoors, wear sunglasses or glasses. Look for the broad and big eye glasses that really cover your eyes to avoid exposure to pollens.
  • Don’t use the window fans as the fans may draw the molds and pollens from outdoors into your house.
  • When an allergen hit your eyes, don’t rub! Just splash water.

Indoor Exposure:

  • If you have the risk of exposure to dust mites, molds, etc. always keep the windows closed.
  • Use air conditioner in your home as well as in your car. Make sure the air conditioner units are clean and free from dust mites.
  • Try to use mite proof covers in your bedroom. Cover the pillows, bed, mattresses, etc. using mite proof covers.
  • Change the bed spread, pillow covers and quills frequently and wash regularly.
  • Clean your home regularly including kitchen, basement and bathroom.
  • Use dehumidifier in your home, especially in damp places.
  • Don’t dry dust or sweep your home often. You may use a damp mop to clean. Wet the mop and clean your home first and then sweep. Wet mopping the floor absorbs most of the dust mites and reduces the risk of allergy.
  • If you have carpeted floor, replace it with tiles or hardwood floor.

Pet Exposure:

Do you know even playing with your pets leads to eye allergy!

  • If you have pets make sure you wash your hands immediately after you play or have any contact with the pets.
  • If you have pet allergy stay away from pets in your home.
  • Don’t let the pets sleep in your bedroom.

Most of the allergens that trigger eye allergy leading towards puffy itchy under eyes are airborne. So, it is almost impossible that you can avoid them all the time. However, wearing eyes glasses may protect exposure to allergens to some extent.

Botox or Other Such Treatments around Eyes

If you have undergone any such treatments as Botox to get rid of wrinkles or other such age related issues on your face, you might be at a risk of developing eye allergy. Read how to manage itchy puffy eyes after Botox to get an insight on how to reduce the risk of eyes allergy after Botox treatment.

Treatment of puffy itchy under eyes caused by allergies 

OTC eye drops and medicines

When there is moderate itchiness and mild swelling, you can treat it with Over the Counter medications or eye drops to get relief from the symptoms. You will find the relief in a day or two. If the swelling doesn’t subside or the itchiness isn’t completely resolved, you may need prescription medication. Use of OTC eye drops for a longer time may worsen your condition.

The medicines and eye drops include,

  • Artificial tears aka lubricating drops – It reduces irritation and itchiness by secreting artificial tears, thus reduces swelling.
  • Eye decongestants – Narrow the blood vessels of the eye and reduces the puffiness (you should use it 4 to 6 times a day). However, don’t use it for more than 3 days even if you don’t find any significant improvement.
  • Oral Antihistamines – Provides instant relief from mild itchiness and swelling. (However, it may not be effective for severe itching)

Prescription drops and medicine

Eye being a very sensitive organ, you may need prescription medication in most cases to avoid any complications. Prescription medicines generally provide long term relief from puffy itchy eyes and completely treat the allergy. Your physician can determine the best medicine and the right treatments for the allergy.

Prescription medicines include the following:

  • Antihistamine eye drops: Provides quick relief from swelling, itchiness, redness and burning sensation of the eyes. Since the effects of these drops last for a few hours, you should use it 3 or 4 times a day. Don’t use antihistamine eye drops without any prescription for eye allergies.
  • Mast Cell Stabilizer eye drops: It prevents the release of histamine and other chemical substances, which causes puffy itchy under eyes.
  • NSAID eye drops: If you experience moderate to severe pain along with puffy itchy under eyes, NSAID eye drops may help you. It is nothing but Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, but in form of an eye drop. It provides relief from severe itchiness and reduces the inflammation of the eyes.
  • Corticosteroid eye drops: In case of chronic eye allergy with severe symptoms, this eye drop is prescribed. However, the application is administered only under supervision of an ophthalmologist.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are generally prescribed when the puffy itchy under eyes is caused by food allergy. However, mere intake of antibiotics isn’t enough to cure the condition. You may need to check the food allergy or intolerance or follow a food diary to identify the allergic foods. Remember, food allergy may be fatal.
  • Allergy Shots: It is a form of immunotherapy that builds immunity and braces you against immunity.

Tips to ease the itchiness and swollen eyes:

  • While you may need OTC medication or prescription drug to treat the symptoms, you can also try simple remedies to ease the itchiness and swelling.
  • Wash your face with warm water or cold water. Splash the water on your eyes and it may remove the allergens that are stuck into the eyes.
  • Get some rest. When your eyes are itchy, try not to watch television or sit before computers. It may further aggravate the symptoms.
  • Apply cold compress. Cold compress reduces the swelling and soothe the itchiness. Use ice cubes to reduce the irritation. There are, in fact, many remedies for puffy itchy under eyes that can help you get rid of swelling and puffiness of eyes caused by allergies or otherwise.

Contact lens and puffy itchy under eyes

Puffy itchy under eyes caused by contact lens discomfort is a common trouble experienced by many who wear the lens. Contact lens at many instances turns as an allergen and affects the eyes. Remove the contact lens to avoid triggering the allergy symptoms. Changing the contact lens is the best treatment to avoid eye allergy.

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