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Eye Allergies

If you suffer from eye allergies, you are probably very familiar with the persistent discomfort of red, watery, itchy eyes.

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, we provide allergy testing and can help you find a solution to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

But how can you know if you have allergies?

woman with red eyes

Common Signs of Eye Allergies:  Persistent Redness and Discomfort

Red Eyes

Eye allergies often cause the white of your eye or inner eyelid to become red and inflamed. You may also notice a clear, watery discharge from your eyes. This is sometimes referred to as "allergic conjunctivitis."


Patients with allergies often experience a range of uncomfortable sensations, such as itchy eyes or a burning feeling.

Vision Changes

In severe cases, allergies can also lead to blurred vision or sensitivity to light. 

Allergies often cause allergic conjunctivitis, causing the eyes to become red and watery.

Why Do Eyes Become Red?

Redness is one of several symptoms caused by inflammation, which is the result of your body’s attempt to respond to a foreign substance. An allergic reaction can cause your body to release histamines and other chemicals that nearby blood vessels to swell. The defensive release of histamine can lead to allergic conjunctivitis and eyes that are watery, itchy and inflamed. 

Am I at a high risk for allergies?

How serious are eye allergies?

Schedule an Eye Allergy Consultation Today

If you are suffering from the symptoms of eye allergies, the first step toward finding relief begins with a visit to our eye clinic. At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, our doctors can conduct an exam to determine the cause of your eye allergies and prescribe a treatment plan to provide relief.

All of our eye doctors are board-certified or fellowship-trained. To schedule a consultation at our office, please fill out our online form or call us at: 

(773) 376-2020

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Our Chicago office is always ready to welcome new patients

Patient Reviews


Yana Cohen

January 2020

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Friendly and knowledgeable. Dr Tepper took the time to explain my treatment options. The space is nice and relaxing and the staff are pleasant. Highly recommend!

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December 2019

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Friendly, organized, and pretty punctual with appointments. I've never had any problems with Dr. Tepper, who's been my doctor for many years. If you have any questions, he will answer them thoroughly.

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What actually causes allergies?

Understanding Allergens

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, we empower our patients with education and clear instructions. Managing eye allergies requires an understanding of the trigger of your symptoms. Allergens, such as pollen, are any substance that causes an allergic reaction. The body views these foreign objects as threats and releases histamine and other substances in an effort to protect your body from the foreign substances. 

We often think of ragweed and pet dander as common causes of allergic issues, but eye allergy symptoms could be caused by non-biological sources. The allergens are generally classified into three groups: outdoor, indoor, and irritants. 

Outdoor Allergens

This typically encapsulates any allergens that are most commonly found in an outdoor setting. Examples include pollens from grass, trees, and weeds, as well as other substances in the air, which can all irritate your eyes and cause a reaction.

Indoor Allergens

This category usually includes allergens such as pet dander, mold, and dust mites, which are more likely to collect inside your home or other buildings.


This category typically encompasses non-biological irritants in your environment that also spark an allergic reaction, such as exhaust fumes, perfume, and cigarette smoke.

Often, patients have a good idea of what is causing their eye allergies. If you are planning to visit our Chicago office, begin documenting substances that you believe could be potential allergens in the days or weeks before your visit. 

Are allergies common?

If You Deal with Eye Allergies,  You Are Not Alone

Avoiding Triggers Can Prevent Allergic Reactions

While eliminating causes of eye allergy symptoms altogether may not be possible, simple steps can greatly reduce your exposure to triggers that cause your allergy symptoms. 

Make Changes to Your Environment

Keeping your windows closed during high pollen periods can help you avoid allergens. Patients with seasonal allergies should especially avoid pollen in the spring. You should also use air conditioning in your home and car if possible.

Control Mites and Mold

There are a variety of products that can limit the presence of mites and mold in your home. Special bedding materials and cleaning products can prevent or remove these sources of allergy symptoms. Looking for products with the words “hypoallergenic” is another step that can leave your home free of harmful allergens.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes

An easy way to accidentally trigger an allergic reaction is touching your eyes. If you have to touch your eyes or face, make sure to wash your hands first. Washing your hands is an easy way to prevent irritants from accidentally rubbing off on the surface of your cornea and causing pink eye. 

Change Your Products

Changing the products you use, especially for your face, can lead to a reduced risk of eye allergies. Many patients are unaware that they regularly experience allergic reactions to mascara and other products. 

How will my doctor know if I have eye allergies?

We Perform Comprehensive Allergy Testing

Your examination at our clinic in Chicago, IL, will include a careful test using a slit lamp. The microscope allows our doctors to view the surface and inner portions of your eye for signs of dilated blood vessels, swelling, and other signs of an allergic reaction.  

slit lamp test

It may also be important to determine which substances are causing your symptoms. A simple procedure called a skin prick test can determine which substances you are allergic to. Suspected irritants are spaced evenly apart over your skin. After your skin is sanitized, small pricks allow the substances to be placed into the skin’s surface. By watching for swelling and other symptoms, a member of our team can determine which irritants you should avoid.

In addition to forms of immunotherapy like allergy shots, your doctor may recommend one of several treatment options.

"The Staff Is Awesome"


Edwin Rivas

September 2019

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Great place doctor tepper is thorough and the staff is awesome sent reminders via text welcomed you in and made sure your visit was comfortable and quick great job there people keep it up

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Marie McWilliams

March 2019

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My experience at ( Wicker Park Eye Center), was  just great everyone was really nice to me very Professional knew what they were doing and most of they explain all the detail  they were going to do to me           Thank You

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How can I find relief?

Preventative Measures Can Relieve Discomfort

Change the Products You Use

Often, patients are unaware that they are allergic to the products they use on a daily basis. We offer allergy-free mascara and can help you find other hypoallergenic products.

Remove Your Contacts

Switching to glasses may relieve your symptoms. Contact lenses are convenient, but the surface of the lens can accumulate pollen. Switching to glasses can provide relief in those situations. Patients with seasonal allergies may consider switching to glasses only for the springtime. 

Eye Drops

There are a wide variety of eye drops (both medicated and non-medicated) that can offer relief from eye allergies. Our doctors have many years of experience prescribing eye drops. 

Other Medications

Many patients benefit from taking medications to treat the underlying allergy or to address the symptoms. Common medications recommended include antihistamines, decongestants, anti-inflammatories, and steroids. 

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Wicker Park Eye Center

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, Dr. Daniel J. Tepper, a board-certified ophthalmologist and Parisha Shah, fellowship-trained optometrists, provide patient-centric eye care. Our affiliations include:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
  • American Optometric Association (AOA)

To schedule an appointment at our eye clinic, please contact us online or call (773) 376-2020.

Contact Us Today

"I have visited Wicker Eye Park Center a few times, with each visit I have received excellent service. Dr. Tepper is the best ophthalmologist that I have seen in many years. He, like his staff, is also courteous respectful and very professional." Juan B.

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2222 W Division St
Suite 135
Chicago, IL 60622

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Open one Saturday per month

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