What Produces Allergic Conjunctivitis And How to Manage This Allergy In 2020- GuestPostWeb

The eye has a thin membrane covering known as conjunctiva. When the weather turns warm and dry, it is a common sight in Europe to see swollen eyelids and people rubbing their eyes. The sale of dark glasses increases during this season as people resort to eyewear as a protection from allergens in the air.

The redness is due to a condition called vasodilation (in plain English means widening of the blood vessels) of the small blood vessels located on the periphery of the eye. The conjunctiva or thin membrane covering swells producing an increase of tears (thus the watery symptom). The symptoms are due to the release of histamine which stimulates blood vessels which in turn, causes irritation in nerve endings producing tears that do not seem to stop. The person is suffering from Conjunctivitis allergy.

The allergy is the result of an allergic reaction between the body's immune system and allergens. The most common allergen is pollen floating in the air from grasses, ragweed.Allergens can also appear from animal skin, air pollution through smoke belching factories, dust mites, reaction to chemicals in cosmetics and perfumes.

A study by G. D'Amato et al., in 2007 titled Allergenic pollen and pollen allergy in Europe discusses the allergenic content varying in Europe due to geography, vegetation and climate conditions. The paper outlines how the pollen map of Europe is undergoing changes due to the importation of vegetation such as cypress and birch, effects of climate change and colonization of ragweed in Northern Italy, France, Hungary, and Austria.

The study highlights the mechanism of respiratory allergic diseases to pollen and other air pollutants.As airborne pollutants do not observe international borders, the exposure to allergens is a principal factor in allergy-causing diseases such as asthma and rhinitis. The main pollination season range between spring to autumn and the incidence of allergic conjunctivitis rises in direct proportion. The allergen carrying pollen come into contact with the eye, oral and nasal mucosa which induces hay-fever in sensitized patients.

Management of allergic conjunctivitis

Medical history of the patient will indicate the allergen which can be confirmed by conjunctival scrapings diagnostic testing. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs (NSAIDs) along with antihistamine drugtherapy is the most common treatment. The best advice is to avoid exposure to the allergen (after identification as the source causing the symptom). Another recommended treatment is the application of eye allergy drops. They relieve the itching, painful eyes and there are no side effects. Allergen immunotherapy is a proven long-term treatment that achieves tolerance to the allergens. The therapy involves injections of the allergens in escalating doses administered under the skin. This therapy is effective for controlling respiratory allergies which in turn mitigates the effect of allergic conjunctivitis

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