Effective Tips to Deal With Symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis

Do you experience red, watery and itchy eyes during hay fever season? You could be suffering from allergic conjunctivitis. It's a condition that is mainly caused by an allergic reaction to substances such as pollen, dust and mold spores. With accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan, it's quite possible for individuals to successfully manage this condition, even in hay fever season.

Triggers for Eye Related Allergies

Conjunctiva is the protective membrane that covers the eyeball and the insides of eyelids. It is susceptible to irritation when the body's immune system identifies certain allergens such as dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander as potential threats and releases chemical substances called histamines to defend itself. Certain eye medications, contact lens solutions and chemicals used in perfumes and detergents can also irritate the conjunctiva and lead to an allergic reaction.

Types of Allergic Conjunctivitis

There are five main types of this condition, with two of them being quite common and producing mild symptoms. These are acute or seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and chronic or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. The other three types, namely vernal keratoconjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis are rare but produce severe symptoms. The most common symptoms include red, watery and itchy eyes. The patient may wake up with eyelids glued together and experience photophobia or sensitivity to light. When the itching is intense or other medical complications such as cornea inflammation arise, he or she may have to consult an ophthalmologist for in depth investigations.

Impactful Treatment Options

This condition can be easily diagnosed by a general practitioner. If the patient experiences persistent or recurrent symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, he may have to consult a specially trained allergist. Seasonal as well as perennial allergic reactions are benign in nature and can be contained with the administration of over the counter antihistamine medications and anti-inflammatory eye drops or oral medications. If eye vessels are congested, the doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops to shrink them. Severe symptoms may require treatment with steroid eye drops or surgery conducted by a qualified ophthalmologist.

Home Care Strategies

Home care strategies for effective management include minimizing exposure to allergens, wearing eye glasses while going out, keeping windows closed during hay fever season, keeping home dust free, staying away from pets and using an indoor humidifier. Applying a cold compress on the affected eyes can help alleviate symptoms.

Where to Get Reliable Information

Individuals suffering from symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can use online resources to educate themselves about this condition. European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is a Switzerland based nonprofit organization dedicated to the field of allergies and immunological diseases. This organization's website has a separate area specially designed for patients. The website contains updated and comprehensive information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of allergies. The practical advice offered can be of immense help to patients as well as families.

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