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Dandelion Fields

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is an eye condition caused by allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, or pet dander. When these allergens come into contact with the eyes, the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye) becomes inflamed, leading to symptoms such as redness, itching, tearing, and swelling of the eyelids.

 There are a few types of allergic conjunctivitis:

  • Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis (SAC): This type occurs seasonally and is often triggered by pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds.

  • Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis (PAC): PAC persists year-round and is commonly triggered by indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, or mold.

  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC): GPC is associated with wearing contact lenses and causes larger, raised bumps on the inside of the eyelids.

 

Treatment for allergic conjunctivitis aims to alleviate symptoms and reduce inflammation. Here are common approaches:

  • Avoidance: Try to minimize exposure to known allergens by keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons, using air purifiers indoors, regularly cleaning bedding, and avoiding contact with pets if they trigger symptoms.

  • Eye Drops: Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamine eye drops can help relieve itching and redness. Mast cell stabilizers or combination drops targeting both symptoms and inflammation might also be prescribed.

  • Cold Compresses: Applying a clean, cool washcloth over closed eyes can soothe itching and reduce swelling.

  • Artificial Tears: Lubricating eye drops can help flush out allergens and provide relief from dryness and irritation.

  • Oral Antihistamines: Sometimes, oral antihistamines can be used to alleviate overall allergy symptoms, including those affecting the eyes. However, they may cause dryness in the eyes for some individuals.

  • Prescription Medications: In severe cases or when other treatments are ineffective, a doctor might prescribe stronger medications like corticosteroid eye drops for short-term use to reduce inflammation.

 

It's crucial to consult an allergist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific symptoms and triggers. Long-term management may involve a combination of strategies to effectively control allergic conjunctivitis and improve eye comfort during allergy seasons or exposure to allergens.

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