What are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
What is allergic conjunctivitis?
Our eyes are extremely sensitive and, because of this, can be subject to irritation caused by a whole host of different environmental factors. Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition to describe inflammation of the eye. When suffering from this condition, the eyes will become red and swollen with the inflammation caused by the conjunctiva (a membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids) reacting to allergens in the air such as mould, spores or pollen.
Allergic conjunctivitis is not an uncommon condition, and many people suffer from the disorder either seasonally (seasonal allergic conjunctivitis) or all year round (perennial allergic conjunctivitis) (allergyuk.org, 2019).
The two main types of allergic conjunctivitis are as follows:
Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis
This particular type of allergic conjunctivitis is usually triggered in response to environmental allergens (dust mites, mould, animal dander) and other environmental antigens that are present throughout the year. Even though PAC is not seasonal, seasonal exacerbations are common, with around 79% of PAC sufferers affected by seasonality (nhp.gov.in, 2016). Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis is also generally chronic, meaning it lasts all year. As well as inflammation of the eye area, sufferers may experience a blocked or runny nose, sneezing and contraction of the airways. (medicalnewstoday.com, 2019) .
Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is more common during allergy season and is therefore usually a short-term condition that flares up in correlation with higher pollen count. Along with perennial allergic conjunctivitis, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis makes up nearly all allergic conjunctivitis cases in the UK. It is estimated that out of all people that experience eye allergies, 98% will be affected by either seasonal allergic conjunctivitis or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. (healthengine.com, 2010).
What are the symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
The symptoms of both forms of allergic conjunctivitis are similar. Common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are an itchy, burning sensation in the eye area as well as the eyes becoming red and swollen as symptoms worsen. Accompanying the pain might be small bumps on the inside of the eyelid and a watery discharge that leaks from the eyes and brings a sensitivity to bright sunlight.
Without the correct treatment, allergic conjunctivitis can be an uncomfortable condition. If you are suffering with allergic conjunctivitis you may also find that you wake up with puffy eyes as your allergy has been triggered overnight. If you suspect that you may be showing the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, be that seasonal or perennial, visiting a health professional will see that you get an official diagnosis and begin the correct course of treatment.
How is Allergic Conjunctivitis Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of allergic conjunctivitis by a health professional will begin by an eye examination and a review of the patient’s allergy history. Tests for allergic conjunctivitis may include a skin test to examine your body’s reactions to specific allergens and a blood test to see if your body is producing the correct proteins to protect itself against spores and mould.
Allergic Conjunctivitis Treatment
There are a few different ways in which allergic conjunctivitis can be effectively treated. If you are wondering how to get rid of allergic conjunctivitis fast, you can try the following treatments:
You could significantly minimise the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis by taking a few easy steps at home, such as keeping the windows closed when the pollen count is high and using an indoor air purifier. A quick and easy way to ease symptoms when your condition flares up is also to place a cold compress gently over the eyes and avoid rubbing and itching the affected area - this will only irritate further.
In more troublesome cases where home care is simply not enough, there are a wide range of medications available to treat your symptoms, that can be considered after a consultation with a doctor. Effective allergic conjunctivitis treatment includes:
- Antihistamines to help block histamine release. Histamine is a chemical that is released by the body in the event of a reaction. Histamine is what causes the symptoms experienced by conjunctivitis sufferers.
- - Eyedrops such as Raptil. This effective allergic conjunctivitis treatment comes in the form of eye drops and stabilises the immune system. Raptil is a prescription only medication by which you must have a prescription to purchase and use it.
For effective treatment and relief of the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, visit Instant eCare today.
Allergyuk.org, 2019, Your quick guide to allergic eye disease, [Online]. (Last updated April 2019) [Accessed 5 June 2019] Available at https://www.allergyuk.org/assets/000/001/058/Allergic_Eye_Disease_original.pdf?1554910020
Nhp.gov.in, 2016, Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis, [online]. (Last updated March 23 2016) [Accessed 6 June 2019] Available at https://www.nhp.gov.in/disease/eye-ophthalmology-/perennial-allergic-conjunctivitis
medicalnewstoday.com, 2019, What is allergic conjunctivitis? [online]. (Last updated April 17 2019) [Accessed 6 June 2019] Available at https://www.college-optometrists.org/guidance/clinical-management-guidelines/seasonal-allergic-conjunctivitis.html
Healthengine.com, 2010, Simple allergic conjunctivitis (seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC); perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC)) [online]. (Last updated July 23 2010) [Accessed 7 June 2019] Available at https://healthengine.com.au/info/simple-allergic-conjunctivitis-seasonal-allergic-conjunctivitis-sac-perennial-allergic-conjunctivitis-pac