Allergic Eye Disease (Conjunctivitis)
Allergic eye disease, or allergic conjunctivitis, makes the eyes feel itchy, red, watery and light-sensitive and can cause swelling of the eyelids. The allergy may be seasonal, often occurring alongside hay fever, or it may occur throughout the year as a result of exposure to allergens such as dust mites, mold or animal dander. Both are very common conditions, especially for patients with family histories of asthma, eczema or rhinitis. Less frequently, people can develop allergic eye disease from wearing hard or soft contact lenses, as a complication of atopic eczema, or for other reasons.
Allergic eye disease is uncomfortable but it rarely causes injury. Treatment varies depending on the cause, history and symptoms, and may include topical or oral antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers or topical corticosteroids. Cold compresses may also relieve discomfort.