What is allergic conjunctivitis?
Allergic conjunctivitis is a reaction of the eye to things in the environment such as dust, pollen, animal dander, and medications. It is not an infection and is not contagious but can be very irritating.
What causes allergic conjunctivitis?
Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when a person comes into contact with something like pollen or mold that he/she is sensitized to. Spring and summer season are most prone for allergies.
What are some common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis?
Itching with redness. Other symptoms often encountered include stinging, tearing, and burning. The eyelid skin is very thin so it can become very swollen and red. Children may rub their eyes, roll their eyes, or do a hard blink to relieve the itch.
Are steroid eye drops advisable for children?
Yes, sometimes a short course of steroid eye drops along with the anti-histamine type eye drops is required to quiet the severe allergic reaction. Steroid use should be closely monitored by your eye doctor/child eye specialist.
Why can’t steroid drop be used all the time?
Excessive or long-term use can lead to the development of glaucoma and cataract. Consult your eye doctor about how long and frequently a steroid drop may be used because different types of steroids run different risks. A child on steroid drops needs to be monitored for these side effects.
What is Vernal Conjunctivitis (VKC)?
Vernal Conjunctivitis (VKC) is a severe form of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. It is common in young boys and can occur the same time each year. Typically these symptoms are so severe they require a short course of topical steroids for relief in addition to an antihistamine drops.