Allergic conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is one of the most common diseases these days. Children and young adults make up the majority of the patients. Much of this increasing incidence of allergies can be due to exposure to environmental pollutants, dust, smoke, pollen or animal hairs. These substances are widely present all around us, especially during spring and summer seasons.
Many children also have a history of other allergies such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and dermatitis. Some individuals, such as those working in laboratories, sitting in air-conditioned rooms, passively breathing fumes (even from incense sticks and mosquito repellents) are at higher risk of allergic conjunctivitis or conjunctivitis. Wearing contact lenses for a long time can also put you at risk.
Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis or pink eye
The most common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are redness, watery eyes, rosy discharge, pain, and sometimes blurred vision with intense itching in the eyes. Many sufferers have a habit of constantly touching their eyes. In some children, frequent rubbing of the eyes develops dark circles around their eyes and cloudy colored conjunctiva. Sometimes symptoms in the eyes may be accompanied by sneezing and a runny nose.
Conjunctivitis can be seasonal or perennial. The onset of these symptoms may occur in early spring and summer. Typically, symptoms can resolve with medication and reappear later on re-exposure to the allergen.
What can be the causes of conjunctivitis or pink eye?
Technically, the pink or red color of pink eye occurs when the blood vessels covering your eye (conjunctiva) become inflamed, making them more visible. There can be many reasons for this swelling.
Is pink eye contagious? If yes, how long can it last?
Pink eye spreads very easily from person to person. If you get pink eye from bacteria, you can spread it when you have symptoms or even about 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.
If you get pink eye from a virus, you can spread it as long as you have symptoms and even before you develop symptoms. It may last for several days, but pink eye caused by allergies is not contagious.
How does pink eye spread?
How is pink eye diagnosed?
Your ophthalmologist will examine the eyes. An acuity test or eye chart test may be done to see if vision has been affected or not. Conjunctivitis can usually be diagnosed based on symptoms and health history.
How is pink eye (conjunctivitis) treated?
The treatment of pink eye depends on its cause –