The most common allergens that may cause allergic reactions are: house dust, feathers, molds (often encountered in our usual environment), pollen, animal hair and some of their parasites from the animal, insect venom. Allergic conjunctivitis may occur both because of pollution, dust, pollen (spring) but also because the use of certain cosmetics (makeup, face cream, eyeliner pencils, shaving or aftershave solutions). Because of the similarities between the nasal mucosa and the conjunctiva, the factors that cause allergic rhinitis, may also cause allergic conjunctivitis.
There are 5 types of allergic conjunctivitis : perennial allergic conjunctivitis, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis (it’s a chronic form of conjunctivitis, it is thought to come together with asthma or allergic rhinitis; it is encountered more often in young males), giant papillary conjunctivitis (the papillae are larger than 0,3 mm in diameter; it may appear as a reaction caused by using contact lenses), atopic keratoconjunctivitis.
The vernal keratoconjunctivitis and the Atopic keratoconjunctivitis are both bilateral inflammation of the conjunctiva.
In order to diagnose a patient with allergic conjunctivitis, besides a medical observation, the doctor will need the medical history of the patient and of the family, this will include information about prior asthma, dermatitis, allergic rhinitis. From all the symptoms that this condition may have, the basis of the diagnostic is the itching sensation that the patient feels in this situation .
Once it is sure that the patient suffers from allergic conjunctivitis, , the next step is to identify specific allergens to which the patient is sensitive. No matter what type of allergic conjunctivitis the patient may have there are some measures, some steps that need to be followed during the treatment. It is better to give up for a while wearing contact lenses, don’t touch or rub the eyes, if the allergens are known is indicated the avoidance and prevention of exposure to them.
The treatment aims primarily to relive symptoms. It is essential that hands are washed very often, each family member has to use clean towels.
The treatment for perennial and seasonal conjunctivitis may not be needed in some situations. If the doctor decides that the patient needs treatment than some eye drops will be used in order to stop the allergic reaction.
Along with this eye drops may come steroid tablets or antihistamine tablets. In case of giant papillary conjunctivitis, the first step is to remove the contact lenses, followed by the use of some antihistamine eye drops. In the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis, maintaining the hygiene is very important. One could also use cold compresses and mild disinfectants.
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