14 answers

Red and Swollen Eyes

I took my almost 3 year-old daughter to the Doctor earlier this summer because her eyes were red and swollen. I thought it was pink eye, the Dr. said it was an allergy. He had me buy some OTC allergy eye drops which helped. Her eyes are looking that way again and I'm wondering if there's anything I should do (continue to use the drops or maybe take her to an allergist?). She does't have other allergy symptoms.
Thanks in advance.

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I personally would try the drops since they worked last time....if they don't do the trick take her back to the Dr. if he has no other suggestions then yes take her to an allergist. My daughter has somewhat of the same dilema except it is dry eyes happens 2-3 times a year I just use normal eye drops and benadryl once a day at bedtime and that does the trick for us.

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My daughter had the same problem. They called it allergic shiners. She takes Zyrtec every day now. When she gets older, we can get her tested for allergies. But the doctor said it is pointless to put her through the pain of allergy tests, when they will just tell her she has outdoor allergies and put her back on Zyrtec. She has no other symptoms, so I think it's no big issue.

I am 28 yo and have had that problem my whole life. People always think that I have black eyes. When my allergies are really acting up, I have had people ask me if my husband hit me. Make-up only covers so much of them. Although that is the only symptom that you see, I can tell you that she has sinus pressure with this. Even if her nose is clear, she has pressure. Her eyes fell swollen as well. I hope that you find something that works for her. I took OTC medicine so much as a child that not much of anything works for me now. Best of luck with this.

What brand of eye drops did you use? Where they specific to children?

I personally would try the drops since they worked last time....if they don't do the trick take her back to the Dr. if he has no other suggestions then yes take her to an allergist. My daughter has somewhat of the same dilema except it is dry eyes happens 2-3 times a year I just use normal eye drops and benadryl once a day at bedtime and that does the trick for us.

We had the same issue happen with our 3 yr. old (at the time) last year...we had just moved from a brand new neighborhood (with no big trees) to a very established neighborhood (with the biggest trees you've ever seen!). It hit her in spring and in fall - which is the worst time for seasonal allergies/hayfever. So, we took her in to get the prick test for allergies and she is allergic to grass, trees, dogs, cats,...the list goes on and on. The allergist gave us Zyrtec, nasal spray, and eye drops! HA! Try getting the nasal spray and eye drops in a 3 yr. old! However, she seems to do fine with the Zyrtec on an as needed basis. Unfortunately, it means limiting her time outside during this beautiful weather - but it keeps her better! I had the same issues growing up - you are best to find out now and get some prescription meds. Good Luck!


I dont know for sure what you could do, but getting an expert opinion from an "allergy" doctor would probably help. Some people have Spring time allergies and some Autumn... some might have both??
I have heard good things about Dr. Baptist on 83rd and Metcalf.
Good Luck!! Please let us know what happens!!

This is also allergy time(for some worse than spring), and I would take her to an allergist-Dr Michael Borts is a great one-he is wonderful with children. He has treated me and both of my daughters for several years. I have even seen him interviewed on Ask the Dr on KSDK.

I had the smae problem with my niece she looks like she has two black eyes all the time. The cure for her was to give a dose of claritin and benadryl and it worked well. Maybe that will work that did for her. The doctor called them allergy shiners!

Hi N.,

If you are located in Wichita, KS, there is a clinic called Allergy & Asthma Center that can help. I believe they can test your daughter to see what exactly is causing her allergies. It is probably best to find out what she is allergic to so you can avoid it instead of using the allergy eye drops. You can find their listing in the yellow pages. Hope this helps.

Hi N.,
That happened to my son whenever he got around cats... his face would swell from his lower eyelids to his cheekbones and his eyes would get red within a few minutes of playing with a cat. Later we found out he was allergic to cat dander. I wont recommend any type of meds for your child, I will recommend that you take her to an allergist who can tell you for sure what it is and what to give her. Good luck.

N., I would probably try the drops, if they don't work find an allergy specialist


Two of my children had fairly serious allergies to pollen, trees, grasses, mold, dust, etc. The first thing you need to do is keep the windows closed and use the A/C, both at home and in the car. If you can get an air purifier for her room, that helps too. Frequent washing of sheets, stuffed animals, etc. is also a good idea.

Do she seem to rub her eyes a lot? If so, they may be itching, and the rubbing contributes to the redness and swelling. Due to her age, I would stick with occasional OTC medicines like eye drops and Benadryl if necessary. If it is strictly redness and swelling, a cool, wet washcloth applied to her closed eyes while resting can help relieve the symptoms. I wouldn't use the eyedrops or Benadryl unless she is complaining of itchiness or tearing.

My son ended up at the allergist at age 4, because he'd had chronic sinus infections, ear infections, tonsils and adenoids out, etc. by age 3. Problems continued, and we had him tested. He was allergic to more than 40 things, ended up getting shots for 3-4 years, had an inhaler, etc. That all helped him build up his immunities and he can control the occasional episode now with OTC medication.

It doesn't sound like your daughter is at that point yet, so my advice would be to use the most natural remedies that are effective for her symptoms. Getting her started on medication (even OTC meds) at such an early age, if not totally necessary, may undermine the effectiveness of the meds later.

Good luck,

My daughter had problems with her eyes when she was younger. Especially if we were at the lake, she would wake up with her eyes matted closed. We just always used the eye drops and they would clear up.

Trust your instincts as a mom. Also, the eye drops only treat the symptom, not the cause. It would be a good idea to find out what she's allergic to. Good Luck.

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