Eye allergies are a common condition that occur when the eyes react to something that irritates them called an allergen. People who suffer from eye allergies usually have nasal allergies as well, with an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing. Eye allergies can develop from exposure to other environmental triggers, such as pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, perfumes, or even foods. If the exposure is ongoing, the allergies can be more severe, with significant burning and itching and even sensitivity to light.
HOW IS EYE ALLERGY DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of eye allergies depends on the symptoms and the examination by the ophthalmologist. He or she may examine your eye under the microscope for observing any swollen blood vessels. A test for determining presence of a specific white blood cell confirms diagnosis. The conjunctiva is slightly scraped off for this test
HOW IS EYE ALLERGY TREATED?
Non-prescription or OTC eye drops and oral medications provide short-term relief of some symptoms of eye allergy, but a prolonged use can worsen the condition. Ophthalmologist prescribed eye drops provide both short and long-term targeted relief of eye allergy symptoms. OTC eye drops are tear substitutes that wash allergens from eye and decongestants reduce the redness by narrowing the eye blood vessels. Prescription eye drops include Antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer and Corticosteroid eye drops. Medications include allergy shots for improving an individual’s tolerance
DID YOU KNOW?
Some people can inherit eye allergies from their parents. One is more likely to have allergies if both parents have them than if only one does.
Eye or ocular allergy is characterized by red, itchy watery and swollen eyes. He reasons for these symptoms include:
• Indoor allergens like dust mites and stray fur from pets.
• Outdoor allergens like pollen from flowers, weeds, grass or certain types of trees.
Eye allergies usually develop when an allergen comes into contact with the conjunctiva of the eyes. Often, the symptoms of eye allergies resemble those of eye diseases. Given below a few of the major kinds of allergies of the eye:
• Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis: SAC is the commonest type of eye allergy. It may occur in spring, summer or autumn, depending upon the kind of pollen in the air. The symptoms include redness, itching, burning of the eye, watery discharge and a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion as in the case of hay fever or nose allergies. Chronic dark circles are usually formed under the eyes of SAC patients.
Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis (PAC) may occur all around the year.
• Vernal keratoconjunctivitis: More severe than SAC and PAC, vernal keratoconjunctivitis generally affects young men and boys afflicted with eczema or asthma. It causes itching, production of great quantity of tears and mucus and photophobia. If left untreated, it may lead to blindness.
• Atopic keratoconjunctivitis: With symptoms similar to vernal conjunctivitis, it usually affects old men who have a history of dermatological allergies. Unless treated on time, it may cause scarring of the cornea and its membrane.
• Contact allergic conjunctivitis: It develops because of irritation caused by wearing of contact lenses or the proteins from the tears that bind to the lens surface. It shows the symptoms of usual eye allergy including discomfort in wearing the lens.
• Giant papillary conjunctivitis: A severe form of contact allergic conjunctivitis, giant papillary conjunctivitis is caused by the wearing of contact lens. The formation of individual fluid sacs in the upper lining of the inner eyelid causes puffiness, redness, foreign body sensation, swelling of the eyelids, blurring of vision, mucous discharge and low tolerance for contact lens.
Eye allergies can be prevented on the observance of these steps:
• Close your windows and doors to shut the pollen out.
• Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to prevent an irritant from coming into contact with your eyes.
• Wash your hands properly after handling pets.
• Wear gloves to dust your beds and linen to make them mite free.
Eye allergies can be treated with OTC products like decongestants, oral histamines and tear substitutes. Glaucoma patients however cannot take decongestants. It should also not be used for more than 2/3 days at a stretch by anyone. Oral antihistamines also tend to complicate the eye allergy.
Allergists may prescribe the following drugs depending upon the nature of the allergy:
• Non-sedating oral antihistamines.
• Eye drops (antihistamine, decongestant mast cell stabilizer, NSAID, corticosteroid).
Though eye allergies in children may be treated with a combination of prescription drugs and OTC medicines, seeking medical help is more preferable than erratic medication.
Lybrate brings together the best group of physicians and allergists to help you treat your allergies. Send your question directly or book
An appointment online for consultation with the top allergists. Search for the best physicians and allergists in Rajkot, Surat, Thane, Thoothukudi, Vadodara, etc. Subscribe immediately to Lybrate.com for more information on food allergy, skin allergy, allergic rhinitis, allergic cough, eye infection etc.
You can consult doctors online for Eye Allergy from anywhere, anytime at Lybrate. View consultation fee, reviews and patient feedback before consulting. Find best doctors in Acharya Nagar, Allahabad Road, Arya Nagar, Azad Nagar, Bagdaudi Naramau, Baradevi and in any other locality in Kanpur.
You can see above a list of top doctors in Shashtri Nagar, Kanpur for Eye Allergy. Ask a question for free at Lybrate today and receive answers from best doctors.