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  • Allergic Conjunctivitis

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    01-What is Allergic Conjunctivitis?

    Whenyour eyes are exposed to substances like pollen or mold spores, they may becomered, itchy, and watery. These are symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. Theinside of your eyelids and the covering of your eyeball have a membrane calledthe conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is susceptible to irritation from allergens,especially during hay fever season. Allergic conjunctivitis is quite common.It’s your body’s reaction to substances it considers potentially harmful.

    02-What are the tpes ofallergic conjunctivitis?

    Acute allergic conjunctivitis
    This is a short-term condition that is more common during allergyseason. Your eyelids suddenly swell, itch, and burn. You may also have a waterynose.
    Chronic allergic conjunctivitis
    A less common condition called chronic allergic conjunctivitis can occuryear-round. It is a milder response to allergens like food, dust, and animaldander. Common symptoms come and go but include burning and itching of the eyesand light sensitivity.

    03-What causes allergic conjunctivitis?

    You experience allergicconjunctivitis when your body tries to defend itself against a perceivedthreat. It does this in reaction to things that trigger the release ofhistamine. Your body produces this potent chemical to fight off foreigninvaders. Some of the substances that cause this reaction are:
    • household dust
    • pollen from trees and grass
    • mold spores
    • animal dander
    • chemical scents such as household detergents or perfume
    Some people may also experience allergic conjunctivitis in reaction tocertain medications or substances dropped into the eyes, such as contact lenssolution or medicated eye drops.

    04-Who is at risk for allergic conjunctivitis?

     Allergies affect people of all ages, though they are more common inchildren and young adults. People who have allergies are more likely to develop allergicconjunctivitis.  Allergies affect 30 percentof adults and 40 percent of children, and often run in families.

    05-How is allergic conjunctivitis diagnosed?

    Your doctor will examine your eyes and review your allergy history.Redness in the white of the eye and small bumps inside your eyelids are visiblesigns of conjunctivitis. Your doctor may also order one of the following tests:
    • An allergy skin test exposes your skin to specific allergens and allows your doctor to examine your body’s reaction, which may include swelling and redness.
    • A blood test may be recommended to see if your body is producing proteins, or antibodies, to protect itself against specific  allergens like mold or dust.
    • A scraping of your conjunctival tissue may be taken to examine your white blood cells. Eosinophils are white blood cells that  become activated when you have allergies.

    06-How is allergic conjunctivitis treated?

    Environment
    Treating allergic conjunctivitis  involves a combination of preventionstrategies and activities to ease your symptoms. To minimize your exposure toallergens:
    • close windows when the pollen count is high
    • keep your home dust-free
    • use an indoor air purifier
    • avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, dyes, and perfumes
    • To ease your symptoms, avoid rubbing youreyes. Applying a cool compress to your eyes can also help reduce inflammationand itching.
    Medications
    In more troublesome cases, home caremay not be adequate. You will need to see a doctor who might recommend thefollowing options:
    • anoral or over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce or block histamine release 
    • anti-inflammatory or anti-inflammation eye drops
    • eyedrops to shrink congested blood vessels
    • steroid eye drops

    07-How do I prevent allergic conjunctivitis?

    Completely avoiding the environmentalfactors that cause allergic conjunctivitis can be difficult. The best thing youcan do is to limit your exposure to these triggers. For example, if you knowthat you are allergic to perfume or household dust, you can try to minimizeyour exposure by using scent-free soaps and detergents. You may also considerinstalling an air purifier in your home.


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