Will Eye Allergies Affect My Candidacy for LASIK? By Dr. Steven Chander on June 18, 2016

A woman using eye dropsPrimary Eye Care Associates is a leader in vision correction solutions in the greater Chicago area. We're proud to be a strong patient resource when it comes to a diverse array of eye care questions. We feel that patient education is an important part of great vision and lasting wellness in the long run.

A number of patients have asked us about LASIK surgery and eye allergies, namely if having eye allergies disqualifies someone from undergoing the procedure. Let's go over the basics right now.

What Are Eye Allergies?

Eye allergies refer to the itchiness and discomfort associated with the eyes when a person is exposed to allergens, such as pollen, dust, and other kinds of particulate matter.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Eye Allergies

The most common signs and symptoms of eye allergies include the following:

  • Watery eyes
  • Red eye
  • Itchy or irritated eyes
  • Brief dry eye attacks

When people suffer from an eye allergy attack, it's usually easy to remedy these problems with lubricating eye drops. That's why people who are prone to eye allergies should consider carring liquid tears with them at all times.

Many People Suffer from Eye Allergies

If those signs and symptoms sound familiar, it's because eye allergies are extremely common. Literally millions of Americans suffer from eye allergies. Eye allergies are nothing out of the ordinary, nor should they be considered serious eye conditions.

Contact Lenses Can Make Eye Allergies Worse

When people wear contact lenses and suffer from eye allergies, they run a risk of worse allergy attacks. The reason for this is that the allergens can potentially stick onto the contact lens. In some cases, the allergens may also get lodged under the contact lenses and irritate the eye directly. This is why it sometimes helps to remove and clean your contacts after being out in an area with lots of pollen, dust, or other allergens.

Will Eye Allergies Affect LASIK Candidacy?


Eye allergies are quite common. People who experience eye allergies can still undergo LASIK so long as they are otherwise good candidates for the procedure.

Some people think that eye allergies affect LASIK candidacy because an allergy attack can bring about dry eye attacks, and people with dry eye syndrome are poor candidates for surgery. However, the occasional bout of dry eye brought on by an eye allergy is a different matter entirely from dry eye syndrome.

How LASIK Can Actually Help Deal with Eye Allergies

What many people are surprised about when it comes to LASIK and eye allergies is that undergoing LASIK can actually help with eye allergies, especially if you are a person who wears contact lenses. Since you will no longer need to wear contacts, this reduces the risk of allergens getting trapped in the eye. Less frequent and less severe eye allergies mean greater comfort and quality of life, especially if you love being active out in the great outdoors.

Is LASIK Right for Me?

The best way to find out if LASIK is the best option for you and your needs is to schedule a consultation at our practice. During your visit, we can assess your situation and let you know if LASIK is the best option for you. If not, there are other laser eye surgery procedures to consider that can be just as effective but better suited to your needs.

Learn More About LASIK and Eye Allergies

For more information about eye allergies, LASIK, and other topics related to the quality of your vision, be sure to contact our team of vision correction specialists today. The team here at Primary Eye Care Associates looks forward to helping you with your concerns.

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Dr. Steven Chander

Primary Eye Care Associates

Primary Eye Care Associates is a family-friendly vision care practice in Chicago. Led by our eye doctor, Dr. Steven Chander, our practice provides a variety of services, features a state-of-the-art optical laboratory, and includes an optical boutique with designer frames. Dr. Chander is certified by:

  • The National Board of Examiners in Optometry
  • The American Optometric Association

To schedule an appointment with our team, please fill out our online form or call (773) 735-6090.

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