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Eye Allergy

About Eye Allergy

The most common allergy that is widely ignored by people is eye allergy. If your eyes are itchy or watery or burning, then you might have an eye allergy.

Symptoms

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Watery discharge

The primary allergy types are seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, contact allergic conjunctivitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis.

Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) is the most common eye allergy type. Depending on the type of seasonal pollination, patient experience symptoms like

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Clear, watery discharge

People with SAC symptom accompany runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion associated with hay fever and other seasonal allergies. Chronic dark circle under eye may also be. The itching may be so bothersome that patients rub their eyes frequently, making symptoms worse and potentially causing infection.

Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC), as its name implies, occurs year-round. The symptoms are same but they are milder. They are caused by reactions to dust mites, mold, pet fur or other household allergens, other than pollen.

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis is a more serious eye allergy can occur year-round, symptoms may worsen seasonally. It primarily occurs in boys and young men; about 75 percent of patients also have eczema or asthma.

Symptoms

  • Itching
  • Thick mucus
  • Foreign particles sensation in eyes
  • Bright light eye sensitivity

Atopic keratoconjunctivitis

This allergy affects the older men patients who have a history of allergic dermatitis. This is a year-round allergy very similar to vernal keratoconjunctivitis.

Symptoms

  • Burning
  • Severe itching
  • Redness
  • Thick mucus after sleep, may cause the eyelids to stick together

Contact allergic conjunctivitis

This can result from irritation by contact lenses or by the proteins from tears that bind to the surface of the lens.

Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Mucous discharge
  • Lens discomfort

Giant papillary conjunctivitis

This type of allergy is associated with wearing contact lenses. This alleric is a severe form of contact allergic conjunctivitis in which individual fluid sacs, or papules, form in the upper lining of the inner eyelid.

Symptoms

  • Itching
  • Puffiness
  • Tearing
  • Mucus discharge
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor tolerance for wearing contact lenses
  • Foreign body sensation

Triggers

  • Irritation to cigarette smoke, diesel smell, smoking plastic and perfumes
  • Indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pet fur and mold
  • Outdoor allergens, such as pollen from trees, weeds and grasses

Management

  • Give your pet a bath weekly once
  • Restrict your pet from entering every room in your house
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after petting or playing with your pet
  • Clean your living and bedroom continuously

Some symptoms can be controlled using non-prescribed medications like

  • Decongestant eye drops
  • Artificial tears
  • Oral antihistamines (caution – may dry your eyes when symptom worsen)

It is always safe to talk to your allergist before any medications like

  • Eye drops
  • Allergy shots
  • Nonsedating oral antihistamines
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