Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is part of the eye.
Conjunctivitis itself can be a result of
- bacterial infections
- irritants, or
Common allergens that cause Allergy Conjunctivitis include pollen, animal dander, cosmetics and smoke.
Often known as Pink Eye or Red Eye, Allergic Conjunctivitis usually causes:
- red, itchy, watery eyes,
- occasionally blurred vision, or
- a mild sensitivity to light (photophobia).
The symptoms associated with allergic conjunctivitis are usually mild and long-term treatment is not needed. In more complicated cases, the prognosis depends on the type of allergic conjunctivitis and the specific treatments available.
Allergy-associated conjunctivitis should improve once the allergy is treated and the allergen removed. Seek medical advice if you have conjunctivitis that is linked to an allergy.
Before modern medications, treatment for allergic conjunctivitis was limited to eye washes that would cleanse the allergen from the eye and provide short-term relief. This is still an option today along with other medical treatments including:
- Decongestant/antihistamine combinations
- Mast cell stabilizers
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)
Your choice of therapy will depend on the intensity of the allergic response. Since histamines cause most of the common symptoms associated with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, antihistamines or histamine blockers can be effective.
AUSTRALIASIAN SOCIETY OF CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY AND ALLERGY (ASCIA)
VIRTUAL MEDICAL CENTRE