Most commonly the eyelids and the conjunctiva, which is the thin film membrane the covers the inside of the eyelids and the white part of the eye (sclera) will become itchy, swollen and red in appearance. Excessive tearing and the sensation of “burning of the eyes” are also common. Oddly enough, these symptoms are due to the natural defense of the body as it produces histamine to fight off the allergies. Unlike other types of conjunctivitis such as bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis is not spread from person to person.
People who suffer from eye allergies often have nasal allergies as well, with an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing. It is usually a temporary condition associated with seasonal allergies. However, in other cases, eye allergies can develop from exposure to other environmental triggers, such as pet dander, dust, smoke, perfumes, or even foods. If the exposure is ongoing, the allergies can be more severe, with significant burning and itching and even sensitivity to light.
If you feel you are having symptoms that could be related to an eye infection or allergic conjunctivitis, call our office. Our doctors can diagnose allergic conjunctivitis by examining your eyes and discussing your medical history, including your history and your family’s history of allergies.