Towards spring, we explain what allergic conjunctivitis is
Starting from the end of April, during May and June, due to the flowering of numerous grasses, weeds and trees, we have a large number of patients with problems of allergic conjunctivitis. After a short break during July and August when due to the high temperature the vegetation subsides, September and partly October follow with the reappearance of a high concentration of pollen with ragweed flowering.
Why the conjunctiva? The mucous membrane of the eye is constantly exposed and is under the influence of the external environment, as well as the mucous membrane of the nose and throat. Manifestations of allergies can occur on the mentioned mucous membranes. The body actually has an overemphasized immune reaction to allergens, there is a weakening of histamine from mast cells, histamine leads to dilation of blood vessels. Dilation of blood vessels is manifested as redness of the eye, there is also increased permeability of blood vessels, which leads to swelling of the mucous membranes and increased exudation (tearing of the eyes and accumulation of mucus). Due to the stimulation of nerve endings, the main symptom in people with allergic conjunctivitis is pronounced itching. Itching worsens from morning to evening, as well as during outdoor activities. Difficulties intensify if it is dry for several days without precipitation and windy. Staying in nature, cycling, rollerblading and other outdoor activities contribute to the difficulties.
The tips are:
- Avoid allergens, monitor the prognosis or use one of the available mobile applications to monitor the concentration of allergens in the air.
- Going to the sea or the mountains during allergies.
- Avoid upholstered furniture in the house, regularly wiping the furniture.
- The clothes we were in outside were taken off immediately upon arrival home.
- Wash and wash your hair more often.
As for the eyes, the tips are:
- Do not rub the eyes, although sometimes the itching is unbearable (rubbing causes even greater inflammation, it should always be borne in mind that the hands can cause additional infection, virus, bacteria or eye mechanical damage)
- It is recommended to instill artificial tears without preservatives, which will certainly reduce the concentration of allergens on the surface of the eye (recommendation of artificial tears with Ectoine, which provide additional protection from the environment).
- Avoid wearing contact lenses.
- Cold compresses – compresses over the eyelids can relieve acute symptoms.
- It is indicated to start treatment with local therapy in the form of drops, but in consultation with your ophthalmologist.
- Mast cell membrane stabilizers have the least side effects, but therapy must be started 3 weeks before the allergy season.
- In severe situations, corticosteroids are justified locally only for a limited number of days under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.
- Local ophthalmic therapy should be accompanied by nasal spray, and if local therapy does not provide an adequate response, there are also antihistamines systemically in the form of tablets.
All therapy should be prescribed by an ophthalmologist after a detailed examination and acquaintance with the potential history of eye diseases and other checks. The specialist ophthalmological practice of Dr. Sandra Jovanović is equipped with all the necessary equipment for quality diagnostics and treatment of eyes irritated with allergens. See you!