STUDY AREAS/SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH – Allergic conjunctivitis
WHAT IS IT AND HOW IS IT TREATED
This condition is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (mucous membrane coating the white of the eye and the internal surface of the eyelids), caused by excessive sensitivity to foreign substances.
ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS is not a problem that occurs only in the spring, as is commonly believed, but it is associated with a reaction to pollen, dust mites, domestic animal fur, soft particles and smog. This type of conjunctivitis causes red eyes, incessant itching, copious tears, noticeable and bilateral photophobia, which are constant symptoms.
Itching is the most common and significant symptom: it can last for a few seconds to some hours or in extreme cases even for several days. You also see swelling of the eyelids, crying, and red and burning eyes. It often affects people who already have allergies such as seasonal rhinitis, hay fever, bronchial asthma, hives, atopic dermatitis and food and drink intolerances.
According to a scientific study, eye allergies affect between 6 and 30% of the population. Conjunctival allergy can be acute or chronic and, in 30 to 70% of cases, is associated with allergic rhinitis. The condition is diagnosed by the ophthalmologist.
It can be treated with varying results.
Treatment generally involves removal of the allergen responsible, by avoiding it preventively, (by not going out into the countryside at certain times of the year), or by topical, at least supportive, use of artificial tears.
- paying particular attention to domestic environments (dust mites, cat fur etc.);
- keeping the bedroom well aired and remove difficult-to-clean furniture which favour the accumulation of dust (curtains, rugs, carpets);
- using air conditioning fitted with anti-pollen filters (regularly replaced);
- keeping car windows closed and use air-conditioning with anti-pollen filters;
- implementing preventive measures (using masks, tinted eyewear and instil artificial tears)
ALWAYS ASK YOUR OPHTHALMOLOGIST