What is eye allergy?

Also known as allergic conjunctivitis, eye allergy is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (a thin membrane covering the white part of the eye). This occurs when an irritating substance comes into contact with the eyes.1-4

eye eye

There are 2 main types of eye allergy:5-8

  • tick tick Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC): 90%cases

    SAC occurs on a seasonal basis, and is most frequently caused by grass, tree and weed pollens and outdoor moulds that peak at different times of the year

  • tick tick Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC): 5%cases

    PAC occurs year round and is caused by house dust mites, dead skin, insects and indoor moulds

Around  15-20% of the population is affected
by eye allergy3-4


  • 1. Foulks GN et al. 2007 Report of the International Dry Eye WorkShop (DEWS). Ocul Surf 2007;5(2):65-204.
  • 2. Bauduoin C et al. Role of Hyperosmolarity in the Pathogenesis and Management of Dry Eye Disease: Proceedings of the OCEAN Group Meeting. Ocul Surf 2013;11(4):246-258.
  • 3. Werkhauser N et al. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Ectoine Containing Nasal Spray and Eye Drops in Comparison with Azelastine Containing Nasal Spray and Eye Drops or with Cromoglycic Acid Containing Nasal Spray. J Allergy 2014;1-13.
  • 4. Bielory L. Ocular Allergy. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 2011; 78:740-758.
  • 5. Leonardi et al. Allergy and the eye. Clinical & Experimental Immunology 2008; 153, 17–21.
  • 6. Metz P et al. Phenotypic characterization of T cells infiltrating the conjunctiva in chronic allergic eye disease. Journal Allergy CLin Immunol 1996. 98(3):686-696.
  • 7. Bilkhu P. S. et al. A review of non-pharmacological and pharmacological management of seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye 2012, 35:9-16. 
  • 8. Elizabeth A et al. Animal danders. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. 2003. 23:469-481.