Do you dread hay fever season? Do you suffer from sore, swollen or itchy eyes along with rhinitis symptoms during this season? You could be having allergic conjunctivitis – a reaction to substances such as pollen, mold, dust mites and many more agents. Read on to learn more about this unpleasant condition.
Allergic Conjunctivitis Types
Conjunctivae are the clear layers of tissue that cover the white part of eyes and line eyelids. When people who are sensitive to substances such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, certain eye drops and chemicals commonly found in cosmetics come in contact with them, their bodies react by releasing large amounts of histamine and other active substances that cause allergy symptoms affecting the eyes. There are five main types of allergic conjunctivitis – seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC), perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC), vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) and giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC). While the first two are more common and benign in nature, the latter three are more severe but less common in occurrence.
Signs and Symptoms
Typical symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include watery discharge from eyes, redness in both eyes, inflammation of eyelids, itching of eyes and surrounding tissues along with rhinitis symptoms such as sneezing, blocked or runny nose. A patient can also have photophobia (sensitivity to sunlight) and consequent vision problems. Sometimes the cornea may be affected, especially if it's a case of AKC. While symptoms for SAC occur only during spring, summer and sometimes autumn months, signs for PAC may appear at any time of the year. When symptoms are persistent or recurrent, the individual may need to consult an allergist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A competent general practitioner can accurately diagnose common forms of this disease. If symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include eye secretions, intense itching, swollen eyelids, pain in eye area, or photophobia, the general practitioner may refer patient to an ophthalmologist. An allergist may prescribe investigations such as prick tests, serum IgE dosages, conjunctival provocation test or other specialized tests for accurate diagnosis. Symptoms can be reversed with administration of eye drops or oral medications. Sometimes, corticosteroids for controlling severe symptoms may be recommended by an ophthalmologist. In rare cases, surgery may be required for complications arising due to VKC and AKC.
Knowledge is Power
Allergic conjunctivitis can disrupt the smooth running of everyday life and affect a person's ability to do work. Patients as well as caregivers can access reliable and accurate information on the latest research, coping strategies, recommendations and practical advice from experts on European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology's user friendly website. Established in 1956, this world renowned NGO is committed to promoting research, encouraging education and disseminating accurate information for a wide range of allergic conditions through its many activities and initiatives.
There's no need to suffer from allergic conjunctivitis symptoms -with accurate diagnosis and treatment, you can reverse symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life!
Ethan Moore is a well known writer providing informative articles on internet to spread awareness. He has written articles for many categories and now he is writing about symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis .