Vision Services

Allergies of the eyes (Allergic conjunctivitis)

Allergies of the eye (allergic conjunctivitis) are a very common inflammatory eye condition.  The inner surface of the eyelid and white of the eye (sclera) is covered by a protective mucous membrane called the conjunctiva similar to the tissue lining the inside the mouth.  The conjunctiva serves as an outer protective barrier to the eyeball and can become irritated with exposure to allergens.  Causes include but are not limited to: pollen, dust, animal hairs, smoke, chemical fumes, and even prolonged contact lens wear.

Allergic conjunctivitis symptoms may include:

  • Itching of the eye (mild to severe)
  • Swelling of the eyelid and conjunctiva
  • Redness of the eye
  • Mucous discharge from the eye
  • Excessive tearing

Sufferers of allergic conjunctivitis often also suffer from systemic allergic conditions such as seasonal allergies and asthma.

Treatments for Allergic conjunctivitis:

  • Artificial tears:  Frequent lubrication helps wash away the offending allergens from the ocular surface and dilute the inflammatory factors causing the allergic reaction.
  • Cool compresses:  This helps provide symptomatic relief from the itching and inflammation.
  • Prescription medications:  There are a variety of topical medications which can be prescribed by our physicians depending upon the severity of the allergic conjunctivitis which can be effective in treating this condition.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a consultation.