Allergic conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eyelid caused by an allergic reaction to substances like pollen or mold spores. When exposed to these allergens, your eyes may become red, itchy, and watery, as these are the most common symptoms.
Conjunctiva, the membrane on the inside of your eyelid that covers your eyeball, is susceptible to irritation from allergens, especially during hay fever season. Irritation from allergens is what directly causes conjunctivitis to occur.
What are the Different Types of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
There are two main types of conjunctivitis, and they are very different from one another:
Acute conjunctivitis is a short-term condition that is more common during allergy season. Your eyelids suddenly swell, itch, and burn. You may also have a runny nose as another symptom of acute conjunctivitis.
Chronic conjunctivitis is less common and can occur year-round. Like food, dust, and animal dander, it’s a milder response to allergens. Itchy eyes and light sensitivity are common symptoms of chronic conjunctivitis.
What Causes Allergic Conjunctivitis?
Allergic Conjunctivitis is experienced when the body tries to defend itself from threats, such as mold spores and animal dander, histamine, potent chemicals and other allergens. Conjunctivitis is the bodies natural response while fighting off foreign invaders.
How is Allergic Conjunctivitis diagnosed?
The tests used to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Allergy skin test– A test that exposes your skin to different allergens; your skin’s reaction to the allergens are examined by a physician to determine your body’s allergic reaction to specific allergens.
- Blood test- if your doctor wants to know if your body is producing proteins or antibodies to protect itself from allergens, this test is recommended.
- Eosinophils are white blood cells that become activated when you have allergies. A scraping of your conjunctival tissue may be in order to examine your white blood cells.
How is Allergic Conjunctivitis treated?
This condition can be treated with medications, which may include anti-inflammatory eye drops and the over-the-counter antihistamine.