Allergy reactions in the eye are mainly associated with hayfever and are usually due to airborne allergens, contact allergens, and reactions to allergens associated with various microbial agents (bacteria, viruses etc).
Most common agents are pollens, animal hairs, feathers, mould spores, house dust, insects and scents.
- Patients complain of moderate itching, tearing, burning, and a feeling of pressure behind the eye.
- A stringy discharge maybe present. The eyes may be red with slight swelling in the lids and small papillae (little bumps) under the top and bottom eye lids.
- Irrigation at least twice daily with lubricating eye drops. Single dose units are very good because they are unpreserved, simple and inexpensive to use. You cannot over use lubricating eye drops and although they do not cure the allergy they will significantly help alleviate the symptoms.
- You can also apply cold compresses (cold face washer) on the closed eyes to help relieve the itchy discomfort.
- Severe symptoms may need a decongestant / antihistamine eye drop.