What is allergic conjunctivitis?

Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition that affects the eyes and this usually happens when you are allergic to things that irritate your eyes.

When your eyes are exposed to the allergen, they may become red, itchy and watery.

What are the possible causes of this condition?

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergens that come in contact with the eyes.

When allergens, which are substances that cause an allergic reaction, come into contact with your eyes, your immune system would treat them as foreign substances and release large amounts of chemicals. This causes inflammation of the eyes and leads to the symptoms.

Examples of common allergens include:

Dust mites

Dust or wood dust

Animal or pet fur


What are the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis?

The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can include the following:

Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid

Increased amount of tears

Itchy eyes

Swelling of the eyelids

What can I do to treat allergic conjunctivitis?

Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated in the following ways and you can approach your pharmacist to get the following medications.

Eye drops containing decongestants

Mast cell stabilizer eye drop (e.g. Sodium Cromoglycate eye drop)

Antihistamines eye drop (e.g. Olopatadine eye drop)

When do I need to see a doctor?

Although allergic conjunctivitis can be treated without a doctor’s consultation, there are times where the condition might be more serious.

If your condition does not get better in 3 days or gets worse, you should see a doctor. You should also see a doctor if you experience any of the following:

Change in vision

Pain in the eyes

Crusting of the eyelids

Pus or discharge from your eyes

What else can I do to manage this condition?

Other than using medications to treat the condition, allergic conjunctivitis can also be managed by the following methods:

Avoid the allergens

Don’t touch or rub the affected eye

Wear glasses instead of contact lenses to reduce irritation to the eye

Place a cool compress over the affected eye to soothe it

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