Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outer transparent mucous membrane of the eye) caused by an allergic reaction of the body (the response of the immunity to a foreign substance is an allergen).
This disease is much more likely to affect young people, regardless of gender. Accurate statistics are not available, since in most cases such conjunctivitis is accompanied by other manifestations of allergy.
According to studies, conjunctivitis symptoms occur in about 20–40 percent of people with other allergies.
The basis of this pathology is an immediate-type hypersensitivity mechanism. That is, the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis occur immediately after contact with substances that cause allergies. The anatomical features of the eye are such that allergens easily penetrate the mucous membranes, causing an inflammatory process there.
There are three groups of the most common substances that can trigger the development of allergic conjunctivitis:
- household, such as house and library dust, house dust mite, feather pillows;
- epidermal, for example, animal dander, bird feathers, animal dander, fish food, etc.
- pollen, pollen of various plants.
When the allergen gets into the eyes, an inflammatory reaction develops immediately. There is severe itching, tearing, conjunctival redness and swelling. In some cases, the development of photophobia is also possible.
The danger of allergic conjunctivitis is that if there is no adequate treatment for an allergy, an infection can join. With an infectious lesion in the corner of the eye pus can be separated.
If allergic conjunctivitis occurs, symptoms may appear at different rates, both a few minutes after contact with the allergen, and a day later.
In most cases, the reaction manifests itself in both eyes. Allergic conjunctivitis in one eye is considered uncharacteristic, although this is also a manifestation. One eye may be affected if, for example, the allergen was brought into it by hand.
The main symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis type;
- eye redness.
- severe or tolerable itchy persistent nature.
- profuse and uncontrollable tearing.
- the appearance of a burning sensation in the eyes.
- clear or white discharge, which eventually thickens and greatly worries the patient.
- blurred picture perceived by sight.
If the disease is severe, photophobia may develop. Allergic conjunctivitis in children is accompanied by the same manifestations as in adults. And, as a rule, the above-mentioned ocular manifestations are combined with nasal, and the development of eye allergies is accompanied by the development of rhinoconjunctivitis in 85% of cases. Often, the eye symptoms of this pathological condition bother the age-related patients and children much more than the nasal ones.
If allergic conjunctivitis lasts from six months to a year, then it is a chronic form of the disease. In this case, the clinical manifestations are minimal, but differ in stubborn nature.
As a rule, chronic conjunctivitis associated with allergic reactions is accompanied by bronchial asthma and eczema.
Allergic conjunctivitis in children
Allergic conjunctivitis in children at an early age is quite rare. Usually the disease is accompanied by allergic rhinitis. Children who suffer from AK often have other manifestations of allergy (diathesis, atopic dermatitis).
It is in children that food allergies are often provoked. After confirming the diagnosis, it is possible to conduct allergen-specific therapy, which is most effective at an early age.
Pseudo-allergic reactions in children are not uncommon. With pseudo-allergies, the same symptoms occur as with allergies, but these diseases have a different nature. The presence of a pseudo-allergic reaction necessitates the study of the child’s gastrointestinal tract, the analysis of blood and feces for the presence of parasites, etc.
Allergic conjunctivitis photo
We offer for viewing detailed photos to find out how this ailment looks like.
Unfortunately, there has not yet been developed a specific prophylaxis that prevents the development of allergic conjunctivitis, due to the fact that there is no unified theory of allergy as such.
Methods of secondary prevention, aimed at preventing exacerbations of an existing disease, are reduced to the elimination of the allergen from the environment (see Nutrition and lifestyle in allergic conjunctivitis) and adequate treatment.
Treatment of allergic conjunctivitis
With a diagnosed allergic conjunctivitis, treatment should be carried out in three directions at once:
- immediate cessation of contact with the allergen;
- local antihistamine therapy, and in severe cases, corticosteroids;
In mild cases, only local treatment is prescribed, and in severe cases, complex therapy is necessary. The doctor may also prescribe a specific immunotherapy and symptomatic drug therapy, with a protracted process, antimicrobial agents are prescribed prophylactically.
Approximate treatment of allergic conjunctivitis:
- The intake of antihistamine drugs inside is shown - Loratadin, Claritin, Cetrin, Zyrtec, Telfast. They allow you to block the action of histamine and some other mediators of inflammation, which prevents the manifestation of allergy symptoms.
- The use of eye drops from allergic conjunctivitis - Allergodil, Lekrolin, Opatanol, Histimet. It is necessary to bury them in the eyes up to four times a day, but this ensures a quick effect and the flow of the drug to the target organ.
- It is advisable to use mast cell stabilizers. Among these drops can be distinguished - High-Chrome (children under 4 years can not) Kromoheksal, Lekrolin, Krom-Allerg, Lodoksamid.
- Some people can develop dry eye syndrome when, for physiological reasons, the production of tears is reduced or stopped altogether. In this case, in allergic conjunctivitis, the treatment with it is indicated by tear replacement - Inox, Oxial, Oftolik, Vidisik, Oftogel, Vizin, Sistain.
Severe allergic conjunctivitis may require topical corticosteroids (eye drops or ointments with dexamethasone, hydrocortisone), topical NSAIDs (eye drops with diclofenac). Persistently recurrent allergic conjunctivitis are the basis for specific immunotherapy.
It is worth noting that the use of folk methods for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis is not recommended due to the fact that this may aggravate the situation.
Treatments for seasonal allergic conjunctivitis
Often this form of allergy is acute, it burns strongly in the eyes, a person is afraid of light, he is worried about severe itching, heightens the discharge of tears. It is necessary to take such measures:
- To drip the eyes of Spersallerg, after a while you can feel how it becomes easier, as part of the drops contains a vasoconstrictor.
- When an allergic reaction has just begun, it is necessary to take orally special antihistamine tablets.
- In cases of chronic conjunctivitis of an allergic nature, it is necessary to bury the eyes with Alomide, Cromohexal.