Conjunctivitis: caused by infection or allergy?

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Conjunctivitis can occur for several reasons. During the allergy season, it is common for allergen to be caused by pollens. About its symptoms and treatment dr. Monika Augusztinovicz otolaryngologist, allergist, doctor of the Buda Allergy Center.

Conjunctivitis of allergic origin

The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid. This is what first contacts the outside world and also captures the small contaminants, pathogens and pollens that come into contact with the eyes. The conjunctiva can easily become inflamed, it is enough to rub our eyes with dirty hands, but in people with allergies, airborne pollen can also trigger characteristic symptoms.

“In the case of conjunctivitis of allergic origin, a seasonal recurrence can be observed: the symptoms appear at the time of pollen spraying of the given allergenic plant. The eyes itch, red, tear, characterized by non-purulent discharge and eyelid swelling may also develop. Unpleasant symptoms can occur throughout the year, in which case the role of allergens in the home, such as pet hair, arises. ”

Symptoms, like hay fever, are caused by the release of inflammatory substances in the body, such as histamine, as a result of the allergen. The vasodilating effect causes nasal congestion and runny nose on the nasal mucosa, in the eye, it leads to the appearance of symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

Inflammatory conjunctivitis of bacterial or viral origin

The cause in this case is some kind of pathogen that got into the eyes. In such a case, early treatment is very important as this type of conjunctivitis not only unpleasant but also very contagious, spreading rapidly in the community.

“If we see purulent discharge from the eyes, the eye inflammation is most likely not of allergic origin. A characteristic difference is still that allergy causes symptoms in both eyes, while the first symptoms of infection usually appear in only one eye. ”

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How to treat it?

An ophthalmologist should be consulted for conjunctivitis of infectious origin. With the help of eye drops and cream with the right active ingredient, you can eliminate the symptoms. An allergist can help treat conjunctivitis of allergic origin. An allergy test can be used to determine exactly what is causing the symptoms. If other hay fever symptoms occur, steroid nasal spray and antihistamines should usually be taken. Anti-inflammatory eye drops can relieve itching and tearing. Allergen-specific immunotherapy can be considered as a long-term treatment, which eliminates allergic symptoms during 3-5 years of treatment, even for 10-12 years. The improvement is already significant in the first year of treatment, especially in the area of ​​nasal and ocular symptoms.

Source: Buda Allergy Center


Source: Patika Magazin Online by www.patikamagazin.hu.

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