Allergic Conjunctivitis

Learn more about Allergic Conjunctivitis, including The Symptoms, The Causes, and The Treatments.

The information below is not intended for self diagnose of an eye condition. If you are worried or suffering from an eye problem, please call us on 0208 524 2887 and book in to see us.

Bhavita Magudia
Allergic Conjunctivitis - Explained
February 3, 2019
Back to Common Eye Conditions

What Is Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is when air borne allergens cause your eyes to become red and itchy. You may commonly hear it as hay fever or eye allergies. The allergen causes your eyes to have an allergic response and the conjunctiva (clear layer over the white of the eyes) becomes inflamed. Both eyes are usually affected together and it is non contagious.

The three main types are as follows

• Acute allergic conjunctivitis – occurs as soon as your eyes come into contact with the allergen

• Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) – also known as the hay fever conjunctivitis and is seasonal

• Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) – occurs throughout the year

Allergic Conjunctivitis - Symptoms

Acute allergic conjunctivitis - sudden swelling of the eyelids, swelling of the conjunctiva (the clear layer over the white of the eyes), slight watery or watery mucus discharge of the eyes and itching. Can sometimes be in one eye only, if direct contact response happens with just the one eye.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) - Red eyes, Itching of the eyes, watering of the eyes, puffy eyelids, sneezing and runny nose. Varies according to the seasons.

Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) - Red eyes, Itching of the eyes, watering of the eyes, puffy eyelids, sneezing and runny nose. Can occur all year round, may be worse in particular seasons.

Allergic Conjunctivitis - Causes

Acute allergic conjunctivitis - an unidentified allergen causes an acute immediate type 1 IgE-mediated response of the conjunctiva (the clear layer that covers the white of the eyes becomes inflamed immediately).

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) - caused by seasonal allergens such as grass pollen, tree pollen, spring grasses, summer weeds & fungal spores.

Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) - caused by non-seasonal allergens such as animals, dust mites, mould and chemicals.

Allergic Conjunctivitis - Treatments

Acute allergic conjunctivitis

• Use cold compresses, using ice eye bag to soothe the eyes

• Do not rub your eyes until it resolves

• Usually resolves within a few hours

• Preservative free eye gels may give relief

• Antihistamine eye drops may give relief

• Find and remove the allergen

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) & Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC)

• Avoid the allergen

• Cold compresses using ice eye bag

• Do not rub the eyes

• Lubricating eye gels that are preservative free, use as and when required

• Topical antihistamine eye drops

• Topical mast cell stabilizers such as sodium cromoglicate

• Topical antihistamine & mast cell inhibitor eye drops such as olopatadine

• Topical non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID)

• Oral antihistamine tablets