Allergic Conjunctivitis

Minor Ailment

What is allergic conjunctivitis?

Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition that affects the eyes and this usually happens when you are allergic to things that irritate your eyes.

When your eyes are exposed to the allergen, they may become red, itchy and watery.


What are the possible causes of this condition?

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergens that come in contact with the eyes.

When allergens, which are substances that cause an allergic reaction, come into contact with your eyes, your immune system would treat them as foreign substances and release large amounts of chemicals. This causes inflammation of the eyes and leads to the symptoms.

Examples of common allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Dust or wood dust
  • Animal or pet fur
  • Pollen

What are the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis?

The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can include the following:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Itchy eyes
  • Swelling of the eyelids

What can I do to treat allergic conjunctivitis?

Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated in the following ways and you can approach your pharmacist to get the following medications.

  • Eye drops containing decongestants
  • Mast cell stabilizer eye drop (e.g. Sodium Cromoglycate eye drop)
  • Antihistamines eye drop (e.g. Olopatadine eye drop)

When do I need to see a doctor?

Although allergic conjunctivitis can be treated without a doctor’s consultation, there are times where the condition might be more serious.

If your condition does not get better in 3 days or gets worse, you should see a doctor. You should also see a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Change in vision
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Crusting of the eyelids
  • Pus or discharge from your eyes

What else can I do to manage this condition?

Other than using medications to treat the condition, allergic conjunctivitis can also be managed by the following methods:

  • Avoid the allergens
  • Don't touch or rub the affected eye
  • Wear glasses instead of contact lenses to reduce irritation to the eye
  • Place a cool compress over the affected eye to soothe it




This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

 The content above is solely for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem

Last updated on Jul 2022

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