Posts Tagged ‘Eye problems’
Allergic conjunctivitis is divided into several subtypes depending on the nature of the allergen. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, vernal conjunctivitis, perennial allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, medication reactions, contact lens allergy, giant papillary conjunctivitis, contact eye allergies and toxic papillary reactions are some of the most common type of eye allergies.
Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis: Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis as the name suggests are eye allergies caused during the particular season of a year. In it the eyes become red, watery and itchy. Persons affected also have burning sensation and eyelid swelling. During the summer season, it is caused due the exposure to grass and different types of tree pollen. In the fall, it is caused mainly due to the exposure to weed pollen. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is sometimes referred as ‘hay fever eyes or hay fever conjunctivitis or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.’ An estimated 25% of American population is affected by seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
Topical antihistamine, topical decongestants and mast cell stabilizers are the ideal treatments. An ophthalmologist should be consulted, if there is a decrease in vision or excessive pain or thick discharge,
Vernal Conjunctivitis: Vernal conjunctivitis is a severe form of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and is mainly seen in children and youngsters. In it the eye become itchy, red and watery and develops pain. The eyes become sticky due to a discharge and are quite hard to open. The pain intensifies when opening the eyes after sleeping. The inner membranes of the eyelids swell and conjunctiva has change in appearance. Vernal conjunctivitis should be treated immediately as it can lead to corneal damage.
Topical antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and low dose topical steroids are the most effective form of treatment. The occurrence of the allergy is more common during late spring, when dry and dusty conditions prevail. Using sunglasses can be very helpful.
Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis: Perennial allergic conjunctivitis occurs throughout the year and can be caused by both indoor and outdoor allergens. The main causes are house dust mites, pet dander and several other indoor allergens. In it the eyes become mildly itchy, watery and red.
Atopic keratoconjunctivitis: Atopic keratoconjunctivitis is one of the most severe forms of eye allergies. People with eczema are more prone to it. Continuous itching and dry eyes are the common symptoms, which is followed by blurred vision. Atopic keratoconjunctivitis, also referred as eczema eyes, if not treated can lead to corneal swelling and conjunctival scarring. This form of eye allergy is quite rare and is seen mainly in older people.
Apart from airborne allergens, atopic keratoconjunctivitis can be caused by common food substances. Topical antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers and short term use of steroids are the ideal treatment. This type of allergy should be treated immediately as there have been rare cases which have led to blindness.
Medication Reactions: Eye allergies can be caused by the intake of certain medicines. Conjunctival swelling and itching are the common reactions. The reactions occur immediately and can vary from mild to severe. Anesthetics, bacitracin, topical penicillin, and sulfacetamide are some of the medicines which can trigger eye allergies.
The term cataracts refers to a clouding of the eye’s lens that is located behind the iris and pupil. This particular lens operates by focusing light on to the retina, much in the same way as a camera lens. The lens affected by cataracts is also involved in the eye’s focus.
This lens consists of protein and water. This protein is precisely arranged for optimum functioning. However, during the natural aging process, these proteins can become clumped together and cause the eye to cloud. This cloud is what is known as a cataract and will most likely get larger as time progresses if left untreated. Your eye doctor will probably want to wait until the cataract interferes with your eyesight before opting to remove it.
There are three different types of cataracts you should know about:
Cortical Cataracts: This type of cataract is formed in the cortex of the lens. Over time, a cortical cataract will extend from the outside of the lens to the center. This type of cataract is common to diabetes sufferers.
Nuclear Cataracts: Nuclear cataracts are the most common type of cataracts. Forming in the center of the lens, this type of cataract is caused by the normal aging process. When this cataract first forms, you may even experience improved vision. However, this effect will not last long.
Subcapsular Cataracts: This kind of cataract starts at the back of the lens. If you take steroids, have diabetes, or suffer from farsightedness, you may be susceptible to supcapsular cataracts.
Fortunately, all three types of cataracts can be removed with eye surgery. Today’s surgeons implement the use of lasers and other innovative technology to remove a patient’s cataracts with a minimum of risk or discomfort. Some cataract surgeries will involve removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens.
While cataract removal surgery is relatively safe, you may experience a few side effects such as swelling, bleeding or discomfort. Your eye doctor will advise you on the steps to take during recovery to aid proper healing.
Nutritionists are currently studying the role diet plays in the prevention of cataracts. Research has shown a favorable link between antioxidants and the prevention of cataracts. Antioxidants are vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E that work to fight harmful free radicals in the body.
When life had begun to appear on earth, one of the first things to develop was the eyes. The importance of eyes for the survival of any species on the earth can be gauged from this fact. The defense mechanisms put up by the body to protect eyes are quite striking. It includes the eyelids, eyelashes and the conjunctiva, which covers the eyeball. In spite of all this defense mechanism of the body, eyes continue to be one of the most sensitive organs in the human body and are always open to the attack of airborne allergens.
Tears continuously keep the eyes clean but are ineffective when dealing with allergens. An allergy occurs due to the immune response of the body to a foreign particle. Most of the time an allergy is caused by the overreaction of the body. In the eyes, the allergic reaction occurs to the conjunctiva – a transparent membrane covering the eyeball and the under surface of the eyelid. Dust, mold, pet dander and tree pollen are some of the most common allergens. If you are allergic to a particular substance, and when your eyes come into contact with the substance, it will kick start an allergic reaction.
It is estimated that more 50 million Americans suffer from various type of allergies. In it, majority of the people suffer from eye allergies. People with allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis or strong family history of allergy are more prone to have eye allergies.
Causes of Eye Allergies
An allergic reaction to the conjunctiva is popularly known as allergic conjunctivitis or ‘pink eye.’ It varies from soft irritation of the eyes to severe itching, which leads to corneal scaring. Direct contact with the allergen is the main cause of eye allergies. The contact can happen through air, hands and from materials used to rub the eyes.
Pollens, spores, pet dander, hair, dust, grass, mold, weeds, certain plants, nail polish, certain medicines and secretions like saliva are some of the most common allergens. The conjunctiva when comes into contact with an allergen produces a chemical called histamine, which causes the symptoms associated with eye allergies.
Cigarette smoke, wind, perfumes, air pollution, diesel exhaust also creates irritation to the conjunctiva but this is not included in eye allergies.
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
Itching is the most important symptom of eye allergy. Redness, watery discharge, swelling of the eyeball, tearing, burning sensation, pain while opening eyelids after sleep, blurred vision, pus formation and the feeling of an alien body in the eye are some of the common symptoms. People wearing contact lens will have discomfort in wearing it. Eye allergies mostly affect both the eyes.
Dry eye and tear duct obstruction are sometimes confused as eye allergies. These two types of ailments have similar symptoms to eye allergies. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by bacteria and viruses.
Eye allergies rarely cause vision impairment. Itching is the most vital symptom of allergic eyes. Although most of the eye allergies are not dangerous, persistent eye allergies should be treated and it is wise to administer drugs after consulting and ophthalmologist.