May 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Do I Have Dry Eye or Allergies?

woman using eye drops

May 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Do I Have Dry Eye or Allergies?

Have you been dealing with dry, red, and irritated eyes lately? You may be wondering if you have dry eye or allergies. It can be challenging to differentiate between the two conditions as they share similar symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss how to distinguish between dry eye and eye allergies to help you find the best treatment.  


One of the main factors to consider is seasonality. Allergies are often seasonal and may worsen during certain times of the year when allergens like pollen are more prevalent. On the other hand, dry eye can occur at any time of the year and may be triggered by factors like screen time or living in a dry or windy climate. 

Intensity of itching 

Another key difference between dry eye and allergies is the intensity of itching. While both dry eye and allergies can cause itchy eyes, allergies typically result in more intense itching compared to dry eye. If your eyes feel like they’re constantly itching and watering, especially during peak allergy seasons, it’s more likely that you’re dealing with allergies rather than dry eye. 

Accompanying symptoms 

In addition to itching, other symptoms can help you differentiate between dry eye and allergies. Allergies often come with additional symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and congestion due to the body’s immune response to allergens. 

Similarly, dry eye can cause a range of symptoms besides dryness, including burning, stinging, or a gritty sensation in the eyes (like you have sand in your eyes). These symptoms may worsen throughout the day or when doing tasks that require focused visual attention, such as reading or using a computer. If you notice these symptoms along with occasional blurry vision, you may be experiencing dry eye. 

If you’re still unsure whether you have dry eye or allergies, it’s best to consult with an eye care professional for an official diagnosis. At New England EyeWorks, we can evaluate your symptoms and figure out what’s causing them. If dry eye is the culprit, our dry eye specialist in Keene, New Hampshire offers advanced treatments such as IPL therapy, BlephEx®, and TearCare® to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall eye health. Schedule an appointment today for personalized care tailored to your needs!