Allergic conjunctivitis occurs once the eyes are exposed to an allergen where the immune system overly reacts.
The affected eye turns sore and inflamed. The signs might manifest due to the overreaction of the immune system where the body releases histamine and other chemicals.
What are the signs?
Individuals with allergic conjunctivitis usually have issues in both eyes. The symptoms might arise abruptly, right after contact to an allergen. The usual signs of allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Pink or red eyes – the eyes are irritated as the capillaries widen in the conjunctiva
- Eye pain – this can occur in one or both eyes along with light sensitivity
- Swollen eyelids – the eyelids appear puffed up if the conjunctiva is inflamed or if the eyes were rubbed by the individual continuously
- Itchiness and soreness
Management of allergic conjunctivitis
Some measures can provide relief to the symptoms caused by allergic conjunctivitis such as:
- Avoidance of allergens – this is achieved by maintaining the cleanliness of the house or avoiding the outdoors when the pollen is at its peak count
- Artificial tears – work by diluting the allergen as well as aid with their removal.
- Avoid using contact lenses – they must not be worn until the symptoms have fully settled.
- Avoid rubbing the eyes – this can worsen the inflammation
- Cold compress – apply a towel or cloth soaked in cold water to provide a soothing effect.
The medications that are used as part of treatment for allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Antihistamines – provides rapid relief to the symptoms and available in oral form or eye drops.
- Mast cell stabilizers – these drugs take a longer time to alleviate the symptoms than antihistamines but once it takes effect, it lasts longer.
- Corticosteroids – these are rarely prescribed, only when the symptoms are severe. These drugs lessen the swelling and reduces the immune response of the body