Many people around the world suffer from some type of allergy. One common manifestation of an allergic reaction is allergic conjunctivitis (also known as "pink eye"). This article will discuss what allergic conjunctivitis is, which symptoms are associated with it, and how to effectively treat it.
WHAT IS ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS?
Allergic conjunctivitis refers to an eye allergy, or the symptoms of that allergy. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the pink part of your eyeball that lines the edges of your eyelids). This inflammation causes the white portion of your eye to appear reddish or pink.
Allergic conjunctivitis may result when your eyes come into contact with an allergen. Your body releases Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, histamine, and other chemical agents as a defense against the allergen. In turn, this reaction leads to an inflammation of the eye.
Several allergens can trigger pink eye, including outdoor substances like pollen, mold, or spores, or indoor particles, like dust mites or animal dander.
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS
Allergic conjunctivitis is commonly associated with a number of symptoms, including:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Intense itchiness
- A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust overnight
- Watery nasal discharge
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS
The best way to eliminate allergic conjunctivitis is to eliminate your exposure to the allergens that trigger it. However, in some cases this may not be possible or desirable. Fortunately, a trained allergy specialist can present other treatment options for your consideration. These may include:
- Medications that help regulate allergic reactions, such as antihistamines
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as decongestants or steroids
- Anti-inflammatory prescription eye drops
- Over the counter eye drops that contain antihistamines and/or anti-inflammatory medicine
If you are suffering from allergic conjunctivitis and want some relief, then you should consult with a trained allergist on your options. Our staff at Allergy and Asthma Care of Waco has successfully treated many patients with allergic conjunctivitis, and helped them to once again enjoy a high quality of life.