Allergic conjunctivitis

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Allergic conjunctivitis involves inflammation of the conjunctiva in the eye. The conjunctiva is a see-through sheath covering the white region of the eye and outlines the interior of the eyelids.

Once the conjunctiva is inflamed, the white of the eye is reddened. It is important to note that conjunctivitis is the expected diagnosis if an individual has a red eye along with discharge. When it comes to allergic conjunctivitis, it is a non-infectious type and brought about by a reaction once the eye surface is exposed to an allergen.

What are the possible causes?

Allergic conjunctivitis can be brought about by an hypersensitivity reaction usually to an airborne allergen. This allergen triggers the swift release of chemical mediators including histamine in just minutes of exposure. In chronic cases, it is often called keratoconjunctivitis since it also involves the cornea.

Indications of allergic conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis
Allergic conjunctivitis can be brought about by an hypersensitivity reaction usually to an airborne allergen.

It is important to note that all forms of conjunctivitis are characterized by the following:

  • Reddening and drainage in one or both eyes
  • Diffused redness around the globe including the base of the upper and lower lids
  • Adhesion of the lower and upper eyelids upon waking up in the morning

When it comes to allergic conjunctivitis, it is distinguished by the following:

  • Itchiness
  • Bilateral redness and watery drainage
  • Recent exposure to an allergen
  • Association with asthma, hay fever and/or eczema
  • Evident edema of the conjunctiva in some cases


Allergic conjunctivitis is managed with the following:

  • Avoidance of the allergy triggers
  • Proper management of allergic rhinitis with oral antihistamines, saline eye drops, intranasal corticosteroids and antihistamine eye drops.
  • Avoid using contact lenses until the condition has completely settled.
  • Avoid using eye drops that contain preservatives
  • Immunotherapy

The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ketorolac and steroid eye drops or systemic glucocorticoids are oftentimes utilized under the instructions given by the doctor.

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