We couldn’t wait for winter to be over, but with the warmer weather, we’re seeing many patients with symptoms of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC). Caused by environmental allergens, like seasonal pollens, these eye symptoms are often accompanied by upper respiratory symptoms as well.
Other forms of allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Acute allergic conjunctivitis – caused by an episode of exposure to an environmental allergen, like cat dander.
- Perennial allergic conjunctivitis – caused by exposure to environmental allergens that occur throughout the year, like dust mites.
Although each form of conjunctivitis has different triggers, the body’s response is the same, resulting in a release of chemicals in the body, including histamine. Symptoms you might experience specifically in the eye area include:
- Mild mucous discharge
- Eyelid swelling
While allergen avoidance is the best treatment, sometimes this just isn’t possible. If you’re experiencing mild symptoms, some of the first things you should try include:
- Artificial tear drops
- Cool compresses
- Oral allergy medication, especially if there are any upper respiratory complaints.
If you continue to experience discomfort, there are many over the counter eyedrops available, some of which include:
- Naphcon-A – a combination decongestant and antihistamine
- Zaditor – a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drop that can be used alone, or in combination with a decongestant/antihistamine
If you’ve tried the above options and are still having symptoms, it’s best to contact our office for an appointment. While you may just need a stronger, prescription eye drop, there are other types of allergic conjunctivitis (vernal and atopic) which can result in scarring of the cornea if not treated adequately.
We look forward to helping you enjoy the best that Michigan summers have to offer.