Rhinitis and conjunctivitis often associated

If you lick at the sight of a cat or if some eyeshadows give you Russian rabbit eyes, you are suffering from allergic conjunctivitis. The best treatment is to flee the allergen responsible ... when possible.

Hunting for allergens

Like the skin or nasal mucosa, the conjunctiva, a fine membrane that covers the eye, is in permanent contact with the allergens present in the atmosphere (mites, animal hair, feathers, pollen ...), on the eyelids (Cosmetics) or in eyes (eye drops). In allergic people, these allergens can cause an inflammatory reaction of the conjunctiva, similar to the reaction responsible for allergic rhinitis.

Allergy may be secondary to treatment

When the allergen spreads in the air, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis are often associated, causing runny nose, sneezing and tearing. Conjunctivitis can also be isolated, especially when it is linked to a product directly in contact with the eye. In this case, the manifestations are limited to the eyes, which are red, pecking, itching and crying. Light is hard to bear (photophobia). Often the eyelids are red and swollen, sometimes glued in the morning. However, the intensity of the signs varies greatly from person to person.

These symptoms are linked to an antibody reaction against the antigen (allergen) against which the person has developed sensitivity. In case of allergy to grass, grass or tree pollens, episodes are seasonal, repeating each year in spring, late summer and early fall. Conjunctivitis is usually associated, in this case, with rhinitis, it is the classic "hay fever". When these are mites or hair that trigger episodes, conjunctivitis can breed throughout the year. In children, there are spring conjunctivitis, a particular form of allergic conjunctivitis which evolves in seasonal outbreaks.

If the diagnosis is easy when conjunctivitis associates with rhinitis, which turns the allergic into a true fountain, it is much more delicate when isolated, especially if it is a first episode. The infectious and viral conjunctivitis, in particular, very frequent, give identical signs. It is often evolution that leads to suspicion of allergy, when conjunctivitis does not heal or recur. In this case, as before any suspicion of allergy, a complete assessment must be carried out by an allergologist.

The first treatment is eviction of the allergen, when it is possible. Provisionally removing makeup is an imperative in front of any red eye. The healing of conjunctivitis and its reappearance during a new application makes it possible to identify the responsible substance. The presence of an allergy of this type must lead to be vigilant in the choice of its cosmetics.

Eviction is much more difficult, if not impossible, when the allergen involved is a pollen, for example, or mites. In the latter case, it is essential to minimize the dust, avoiding carpets, carpets, wool blankets, and maintaining rigorous hygiene. Desensitization may also be attempted, provided that the cause of the allergy is clearly identified.

If the signs of inflammation of the eye are intense or persistent, it is essential to consult an ophthalmologist before taking medication. Eye drops based on antihistamines or decongestants can relieve symptoms, without curing the allergy. In the most severe cases, steroids of corticosteroids are effective, but can not be used prolonged. These products should only be used under medical supervision, as they can aggravate infections and even lead to loss of the eye in case of ocular herpes. It is essential to throw away any drops started and not to keep it in your medicine cabinet to use it possibly in an upcoming episode.

Finally, it is important to know that the molecules contained in eye drops and ophthalmic ointments can also cause allergic conjunctivitis. This eventuality, which is quite frequent, must be mentioned whenever ocular treatment causes irritation and itching, or the treated condition does not heal, despite the medicines. Stopping or changing treatment will then suffice to rapidly improve the symptoms.

Allergy treatments