What is allergic conjunctivitis?
- Allergic conjunctivitis is an eye condition that can affect all ages. The inside lining of the eyelids, the conjunctiva, and the surface of the eye become red and swollen. This irritation can cause itching, crusting, and other discomfort. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergens. Specifically, allergic conjunctivitis is very common for people who have seasonal allergies, especially in certain areas of Kentucky with high amounts of pollen, and is caused when allergens trigger a reaction in the body that causes symptoms similar to typical systemic allergies, such as a runny nose.
How can allergic conjunctivitis be treated?
- Avoidance therapy can prevent flare ups of allergic conjunctivitis
- Get allergy testing in order to know which specific allergens you should avoid!
- Prescription eye drops may be recommended as treatment
How can you treat allergic conjunctivitis at home?
- Avoid allergens that trigger allergic reactions for you, such as pollen, mold, or animal dander
- Take all medications as prescribed by your doctor
- Use a clean, wet cloth to remove crust from your eyes by wiping from the inside corner of your eye to the outer corner
- Apply damp, warm compresses to your eyes a few times a day if they are itchy or irritated
- Refrain from wearing contact lenses until the conjunctivitis has cleared
- It is important to note: Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
When should you call for help?
- You experience significant pain of the eye(s)
- If your symptoms last longer than 7 days
- Sudden decrease in vision