Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is brought about by irritants or allergens that trigger an allergic response if the eye is exposed to these substances. The condition generally arises during certain times of the year. Luckily, it is does not spread to others.
The condition involves inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye which is the membrane covering the white part. Generally, the white part turns pinkish or reddish along with irritation, inflammation and watery drainage.
The usual seasonal allergens that can trigger the condition include grass, ragweed and pollen from trees and flowering plants. In most instances, the symptoms settle after a few days but might recur if exposure to the substances could not be avoided.
The potential risk factors for seasonal allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Environmental or occupational exposure to the offending substances such as pollen
- Family history of allergies
- Presence of other ailments such as eczema or asthma
Remember that the presence of a risk factor does not necessarily mean that the individual will develop the condition.
What are the signs?
In most cases, the indications of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis often arise right after a response to an allergen, but some develop slowly after some time such as:
- Reddening and itchiness of the eyes
- Eye pain and inflammation with a gritty sensation within the eye
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Continuous drainage of water from the eyes
Management of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis
It is important to note that seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is treated by controlling the allergens responsible for a reaction, treatment of the symptoms and regulating the immune response of the body.
Some of the general measures include:
- Avoiding exposure to any outdoor allergens particularly pollen
- Application of a cold compress to lessen the discomfort
- Drugs such as vasoconstrictors, oral antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers and NSAIDs might be given based on the symptoms and their frequency. Other medications that provide relief to the symptoms include corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory eye drops and ointments.
- Immunotherapy is an approach that desensitizes the body and prevents it from overreacting upon exposure to the triggers. This method might be considered by the doctor in some cases.
- Use eye glasses during the peak allergy season instead of contact lens.