Most people experience under-eye circles in their lifetime. Others suffer from chronic under-eye circles. For those individuals, it can be a source of frustration and even worry. There is a long list of possible causes of under-eye circles: lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, smoking, or more complicated illness. One reason that some may not often consider is allergies.

Allergic Shiners

Allergic shiners refer to the effect that an allergic reaction has in the sinus cavities of your face, bringing a pool of blood under the eyes. They’re also referred to as allergic facies or periorbital hyperpigmentation.

When you’re experiencing allergies, your body releases histamines to fight the allergens. It’s the histamine that causes your eyes to get itchy and water. Naturally, you want to rub them, and doing so can cause dark circles underneath.

One reason for this is that the skin underneath your eyes is extremely thin and very sensitive. When you repeatedly rub your eyes, it can cause further swelling in that area. Nasal congestion can also cause the dark circles, as the veins beneath your eyes can swell and become darker.

How to Prevent Dark Circles

If you’re suffering from under-eye circles that you suspect may be caused by seasonal allergies, try the following at-home remedies:

  • Gently press an ice pack or cooled tea bag underneath your eyes
  • Use a nasal spray or saline rinse to clear your sinuses, and alleviate pressure
  • Be careful with cosmetics if you’re trying to conceal the dark circles; some types can cause further irritation and make things worse
  • Ask your ophthalmologist to recommend an eye drop to relieve itchiness

If you’re still experiencing eye issues, or have questions about your eye health, make an appointment with a Vistar ophthalmologist. They can recommend topical treatments that can help.