Possible to get allergies in just one eye?
May 25, 2004 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to get allergies (or an allergy to dust and pollen in the weather) in just one eye? I have heard it has to be in two, but does that mean both two sides are equally irritated? Has anyone here ever had allergies in just one side of their face?
posted by Peter H to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Yes, a few years ago I got my first allergies in just one eye. It will move to the second eventually (it did for me). My doctor just thought I had pink eye because of it initially being in just one eye.

I don't know if you're being treated or not yet, but do quickly. For the longest time I put up with just red eye and dryness. It then gets REALLY bad if you let it simmer. I put drops of Patinol in the eyes about once a week during allergy season and that takes care of it for me. Patinol was a life saver. Nothing else worked.
posted by geoff. at 9:28 AM on May 25, 2004

Oh Patinol is prescription. Ask yoru friendly doctor about it!
posted by geoff. at 9:38 AM on May 25, 2004

Response by poster: thanks geoff!
posted by Peter H at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2004

Is this recurring yearly or has it just appeared? Shingles appears on one side only if I recall correctly. See your doctor. (I am not one.)
posted by Dick Paris at 10:00 AM on May 25, 2004

Response by poster: ha - yeah, i know - see the doctor, see the doctor. i have and will. nothing serious, just a seasonal (non-reddened but tearing) irritation. this is more just posted as a conversational topic.

i'm more interested in this as a question because of the often-replied "it's only allergies if it's in both eyes" - has anyone else ever heard known knows like that?
posted by Peter H at 10:34 AM on May 25, 2004

I've noticed that one side of my face (including the eye) tends to get more of the irritated rashy type problems because I'm right handed and tend to let my left hand lean on my face, rub my eyes, absentmindedly touch things while I'm driving or surfing the net. So, the hand transmission method of allergens, pathogens and disgusting stuff in my case is biased to one side. Maybe it is in yours too. Just a thought.
posted by dness2 at 12:13 PM on May 25, 2004

Sorry, Peter, did not mean to nag. Since the redness is recurring/seasonal my armchair diagnosis is all wet anyway. Me, I'm the guy who won't see the doctor, knowing that everything will work out in the end. *scratches phantom limb*
posted by Dick Paris at 1:31 PM on May 25, 2004

Might it be a plugged duct?
posted by Feisty at 1:33 PM on May 25, 2004

I get allergy-like symptoms in one eye often. I wake up in the morning a lot with one eye sort of runny and scratchier and one just fine. I have always thought there were a few things causing this:

- I have a slightly deviated septum so one nostril is always a bit easier to breathe through than the other. I think this means one side of my face drains better and, as a result, allergens get away from my eyes more quickly on one side.
- I have a "reactive gland" on one side [same side as the less-free nostril...] you know the glands under your chin that get swollen? I have one that gets swollen more quickly. Same thing as above.
- and, as dness2 said, I'm right handed so if I'm petting a dog or cat, it's with the same hand that I'll rub my eyes with.

It will usually spread to the other side, but sometimes if it's just a quickie thing [dust in the air, pet dander etc] it doesn't have a chance to get to both eyes.
posted by jessamyn at 2:18 PM on May 25, 2004

I almost always have one eye more irritated and red than the other this time of year...i've always ascribed it to my sinuses being more inflamed (hayfever, pollen, etc) on one side of my face, or--sort of what jessamyn said.
posted by amberglow at 2:34 PM on May 25, 2004

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