Can Allergies Cause Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the lining of the eye tissue. It is one of the most treatable and common eye problems found in adults and children. It can easily be triggered by allergens which are the substances that cause allergic reactions. There are other causes as well including viruses, bacteria and STDs which are all contagious conjunctivitis caused by allergies, however, is not contagious. Knowing what has caused the conjunctivitis is important because each type has different treatments.

The symptoms of conjunctivitis caused by allergies are:
• The whites of the eyes or inner lid will be red
• Watery eyes
• Severe itching
• Eyelids may swell

If you have any of these symptoms than please see an optometrist, who is also trained in eye problems or even a family doctor can properly diagnose conjunctivitis and what is causing it. Conjunctivitis caused by allergies will clear up with the treatment of antihistamines or if the allergen that is causing the reaction is removed. There are several topical treatments a doctor may suggest.

Ocular decongestants help to lower the amount of redness because they constrict the blood vessels in the eye. They cannot be used on long term basis and using for more than just a few days can actually make matters worse. Ocular antihistamines also help reduce redness as well as the itching and swelling associated with allergic conjunctivitis. They work by stopping the histamines from being able to communicate with the brain and cause the allergic reaction. They can be obtained by prescriptions or over the counter. If other medications are not working a doctor can prescribe ocular steroids. They have to be used only under close doctor supervision since it is possible for them to cause increased eye pressure and damage vision. Ocular steroids can increase the chances of cataracts, lens clouding and other issues.

There are ways to help reduce the symptoms of conjunctivitis caused by allergies while waiting for it to clear up. Contacts must not be worn until completely cleared. Cold compresses can help with inflammation and itching. Over the counter eye drops that are labelled artificial tears can help stop the burning and itching. Be sure they are these types of drops because other kinds can cause more irritations. Also if the other eye is not infected do not use the same bottle on that eye. The best thing that can be done is to prevent allergic conjunctivitis by avoid allergens that can trigger it.

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