Allergic conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis

Inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by immune reactions in response to the body’s contact with the allergen.


One of the main causes of allergic conjunctivitis is hypersensitivity to environmental factors. Due to their location and the anatomical structure of the eye, more than other organs are subject to interaction with allergens.

The disease can be caused by domestic, vegetable, drug, chemical allergens, which are contained in the ambient air. Sometimes the development of the disease can occur against the background of a foreign object in the gas or wearing contact lenses.

Quite often there is a transition of acute form to the chronic one. This disease is characterized by minimal clinical manifestations and persistent course. Most often, the disease is caused by household dust, dry food for fish, down and feathers of birds, perfumery, household chemicals and cosmetics. Quite often, it develops in persons suffering from eczema or bronchial asthma.


Most often both eyes are involved in the inflammatory process. Signs of allergic conjunctivitis occur in 24 or 48 hours after contact with allergens. With this type of disease, patients complain of pronounced itching and burning of the conjunctiva of the eye, tearing, redness and swelling. In a severe form the disease is accompanied by ptosis, photophobia and blepharospasm.

As a result of severe itching, patients constantly rub their eye, which worsens the course of the disease and enhances its clinical manifestations. As a result of friction, follicles or small papillae can form on the mucous membrane of the eye. Almost always in the conjunctival cavity of the eye there is an accumulation of transparent, sometimes sticky or membranous discharge. Purulent discharge appears only when an infectious lesion joins.

In some types of the disease, corneal lesions may occur, and in cases of medical etiology, damage to the skin of the eyelids, retina, cornea, choroid, and optic nerve can sometimes be detected. Sometimes it can be aggravated by angioedema, acute urticaria, or systemic capillary toxicosis.


When diagnosing the disease, anamnesis is taken; an analysis of complaints and a visual inspection of the eye are carried out. To confirm the diagnosis, a microscopic examination of the tear fluid is carried out; in the presence of purulent secretions, a bacteriological examination of the discharge from the conjunctival cavity is carried out. The manifestation of a systemic reaction necessitates a survey of the digestive system and analysis of feces on the eggs of worms, scraping on enterobiosis.

Identification of the immediate cause allows allergic skin tests and blood tests for specific IgE.


An important condition for the successful treatment is the elimination of contact with the allergen.


In order to prevent it, contact with known allergens should be avoided whenever possible. With seasonal forms of allergic conjunctivitis, preventive courses of desensitization therapy are needed.

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