Though the onset of monsoon has brought in cheers and respite from the sweltering heat, we are not yet safe from several allergies associated with peak summer, especially with the eyes.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, as it is commonly referred often mimics nasal allergies like sneezing, stuffy nose accompanied by itchy eyes, redness with burning sensation and watery discharge.  

Ocular allergies are often triggered by various factors including dust, dust mites, pollen from grass, trees, animal dander, smoke emitting from cigarettes, vehicles, petrol, and diesel or in connection to strong chemical and cosmetic agents.  

While there is no definitive treatment recommended in treating ocular allergies, ophthalmologists’ strongly caution their patients to avoid getting in contact with those allergens causing several irritants to the eyes.

There are several types of allergies like vernal keratoconjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, contact allergic conjunctivitis, giant papillary conjunctivitis and the primary step is to learn how to manage seasonal allergies.

Tips to avoid Allergens:


If you observe high presence of pollen, keep the windows of the house or car shut.

Wearing UV protected sunglasses will help in avoiding the allergens around.

Always wash your hands after playing with pets.

Use a dehumidifier to control the mold in the house.

Diagnosis:


Seeing an ophthalmologists is the first step in getting the right diagnosis. Over the counter medication is not recommended as it may increase the irritation and may cause greater damage to the eyes.

Treatment:


While most allergies are easily treatable, your ophthalmologist would recommend necessary medication based on the condition of your eyes.

Dr A R Karthik, ophthalmologist explains that doctors would recommend steroids in case of acute phase allergy and mast cell stabilizer eye drops if the allergy persists at a chronic level. “The treatment differs from patient to patient. In few cases we prescribe anti-histamine and mast cell stabilizers as a part of treatment while few patients may require steroids. However, treating for allergic conditions should be done under proper supervision. Few medications purchased without doctor’s recommendation may lead to changes in the intraouclar pressure or cataract. 

Ophthalmologists’ also recommend over the counter artificial tears to moisten the eyes and to reduce irritation. Do not use these drops for longer periods without seeking your physician’s advice.