Video anchor 12.DEC.2019 3 MIN READ | 3 MIN READ


Are your itchy eyes a sign of an infection or an allergy?

Allergy Infection

Immune system’s response to common allergens such as pollen, dust, or animal dander
Caused by a virus or bacteria or protozoa

Tell the difference by the symptoms

  Allergy Infection
Red eyes Yes Yes
Itching Yes Yes
Severe itching Yes No
Burning sensation Yes Yes
Clear, watery discharge Yes Yes
Gritty feel in eyes Yes Yes
Both eyes affected Yes Yes if viral, no if bacterial
Pain No Yes
Sensitivity to light No Yes
Thick yellow discharge No Yes – Bacterial
Accompanied by a fever No Yes

How to treat itchy eyes?

Allergy Infection
  • Allergy eye drops
  • Oral antihistamine
  • Viral infections symptoms can improve with eye drop medications
  • Take antibiotic eye drops for bacterial infection

If you are concerned about your itchy eyes, or if you’re experiencing unusual symptoms, consult an eye specialist to get a clear diagnosis and treatment options available.


Article reviewed by Dr Chng Nai Wee, ophthalmologist at Parkway East Hospital


Jacquelyn Cafasso (10/12/2018) Do I Have Pink Eye or Allergies? Retrieved on 01/07/2019