22 Apr 2019
eye allergies vs pink eye

Eye allergies vs pink eye: how do you know which you are dealing with?

If you’ve had either symptom, you might know that they are very similar to each other. There’s plenty of overlap with the symptoms, and most people will likely get one or the other at some point in their lives.

The way you deal with the symptoms is different though, and if you’re trying to soothe pink eye with eye allergy cures, chances are you’re going to have a hard time.

That’s why we’re breaking down the main differences in this article. Read on to learn more!

Eye Allergies vs. Pink Eye: Season Matters

One of the more obvious ways to spot the difference between eye allergies and pink eye is to recognize what time of year it is. This won’t give you all the answers you need, but it will give you a good start.

Eye allergies are most common in the Spring and early Summer. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get them other times of the year, but you may only get in contact with specific allergens during that time.

Pollen, for example, is something you won’t come into contact with much during the winter. But other allergens like dust and mold might still be present.

In short, figure out what allergens make your eyes react. If you haven’t come in contact with it in a while, it’s more likely to be pink eye.

Pay Attention to Discharge

The biggest detector between eye allergies and pink eye is whether or not you have discharge coming from your eyes. Both can have discharge, but eye allergies will cause significantly less discharge than pink eye. In fact, you may not experience any discharge with eye allergies.

Usually, pink eye discharge will be a yellowish/green color, like an infection, but pink eye discharge will tend to be opaque and tear colored.

With pink eye, you might also see crusting on your eye, and this should be the sign that says that you have pink eye, not eye allergies. If that’s the case, speak to an eye doctor as soon as possible.

When it comes to pink eye, keep in mind that it can be a dangerous infection to have. Without proper care, it can, over time, hurt your vision.

Pink eye is also contagious, so if you think you have the disease, consider staying home and until the symptoms clear up. Children with the infection should also avoid being around other children.

Eye Allergies vs. Pink Eye: The Bottom Line

Determining between eye allergies vs pink eye isn’t always easy, but hopefully, this article has given you some guidance on what to do when you show the symptoms.

Remember that you shouldn’t try to diagnose these problems alone, especially if they disrupt your daily life. Speak to an optometrist who will be able to give you a path to curing your pain.

Need an eye doctor? Make an appointment with one of our eye doctors in Knoxville, Clinton, Maryville, or Dunlap.