When your eyes are exposed to substances like pollen or mold spores, they may become red, itchy, and watery. These symptoms mean you have allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis describes eye inflammation arising from an allergic reaction to drugs like pollen or mold spores.
The inside of your eyelids and the covering of your eyeball have a membrane called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is prone to irritation from allergens, especially during hay fever season. Allergic conjunctivitus is quite typical and influences about one-fifth of the population. It is your body’s reaction to compounds it thinks about potentially dangerous.
What Are the Types of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
Allergic conjunctivitis is available in two primary types:
Acute Allergic Conjunctivitis
This is a short-term condition that is more typical during allergy season. Your eyelids all of a sudden swell, itch, and burn. You may likewise have a watery nose.
Chronic Allergic Conjunctivitis
A less common condition called chronic allergic conjunctivitis can occur year-round. It is a response to allergens like food, dust, and animal dander. Burning and itchiness of the eyes and light level of sensitivity prevail symptoms.
Allergic Conjunctivitis: Causes
You experience allergic conjunctivitis when your body attempts to safeguard itself versus a viewed hazard. It does this in response to compounds that set off the release of histamine, a powerful chemical your body produces to combat off foreign invaders. Some of the drugs that cause allergic conjunctivitis are:
- household dust
- pollen from trees and yard
- mold spores
- animal dander
- chemical scents (e.g., household detergents or perfume).
Some individuals might also experience allergic conjunctivitis in response to particular medications or drugs dropped into the eyes, such as contact lens option or medicated eye drops.
Who Is at Risk for Allergic Conjunctivitis?
Individuals who have allergies are most likely to develop allergic conjunctivitis. Allergies affect 10 to 20 percent of the population. They typically run in families.
Allergies influence individuals of any ages, though they are more typical in children and young adults. If you have allergies and reside in locations with high pollen counts, you are more vulnerable to allergic conjunctivitis.
Red, itchy, watery, and burning eyes prevail symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. You might also wake up in the early morning with puffy eyes.
How Is Allergic Conjunctivitis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine your eyes and review your allergy history. Soreness in the white of the eye and little bumps inside your eyelids are visible signs of conjunctivitis. Your doctor might also purchase among the following tests:
- An allergy skin test exposes your skin to particular irritants and enables your doctor to analyze your body’s response, which might include swelling and inflammation.
- A blood test may be advised to see if your body is producing proteins (antibodies) to secure itself versus particular allergens like mold or dust.
- A scraping of your conjunctival tissue may be required to examine your white blood cells. Eosinophils are leukocyte that end up being activated when you have allergies.
Allergic Conjunctivitis: Treatment
Treating allergic conjunctivitis at home involves a combination of prevention methods and activities to relieve your symptoms. To decrease your exposure to irritants:
- close windows when the pollen count is high.
- keep your home dust-free.
- utilize an indoor air cleanser.
- avoid exposure to severe chemicals, dyes, and perfumes.
To reduce your symptoms, avoid scrubing your eyes. Applying a cool compress to your eyes can also help reduce swelling and itchiness.
In more problematic cases, home care may not be appropriate. You will have to see a doctor who might recommend:
- an oral or non-prescription antihistamine to minimize or block histamine release.
- anti-inflammatory and/or anti-inflammation eye drops.
- eye drops to shrink crowded capillary.
- steroid eye drops (just in severe cases).
What Is The Long-Term Outlook?
With proper treatment, you can experience relief or at least lower your symptoms. Repeating direct exposure to allergens, however, will likely activate the very same symptoms in the future.
How Do I Prevent Allergic Conjuctivitis?
Totally preventing the environmental aspects that cause allergic conjunctivitis can be tough. The best thing you can do is to limit your direct exposure to these triggers. For instance, if you understand that you are allergic to perfume or family dust, you can aim to lessen your direct exposure by utilizing scent-free soaps and detergents, or by setting up an air purifier in the home.
Last modified: August 15, 2016