Do you suffer from red, itchy eyes?
You may suffer from allergic conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis is the medical term for ‘eye allergy’.1
The conjunctiva is the membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of the eye.2
An allergic reaction in the eye causes the conjunctiva to become red and inflamed (swollen).2
This may be brief or longlasting.2
You may be suffering from allergic conjunctivitis if you have:
Symptoms usually affect both eyes.2
Vision is seldom affected,2 though wearing contact lenses can become irritating.3
Many people also have an itchy, runny nose.2,3
There are two common types of allergic conjunctivitis:
Perennial (year-round) allergic conjunctivitis is most often caused by dust mites, animal dander and feathers.2
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is often caused by mould spores or tree, weed, or grass pollens.2 Occurs typically in spring and early summer.2
People who are affected by hayfever can often develop allergic conjunctivitis.3
How they work:
Conveniently, there are also multiple action agents, which have the added benefit of
combining both of the actions above.5
Tips for extra relief:
Using tear supplements (artificial tears) to bathe the eye and avoiding known
allergens (substances that cause your allergy) can also help reduce symptoms.
Anti-allergy eye drops can be used to relieve or prevent symptoms.2
These are typically called ‘anti-histamines’ or ‘mast-cell stabilisers’.5
If your symptoms are very severe, eye drops containing corticosteroids may be prescribed.3
- Eye Allergy Quiz. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
[Online]. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/eyeallergy/
eye-allergy-quiz. Last accessed February 2018.
- Roat MI. Allergic Conjunctivitis. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Online]. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.
accessed February 2018.
- Delves PJ. Seasonal Allergies. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Online]. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/immune-disorders/
allergic-reactions-and-other-hypersensitivity-disorders/seasonal-allergies. Last accessed February 2018.
- WebMD Medical reference. Top causes of eye problems. [Online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/common-eye-problems?print=true. Last accessed February 2018.
- Rosenwasser LJ, O’Brien T, Weyne J. Mast cell stabilization and antihistamine effects of Olopatadine ophthalmic solution: a review of
pre-clinical and clinical research. Curr Med Res Opin 2005;21(9):1377–1387.