Eye allergies which can also be called allergic conjunctivitis, occur when the eyes react to something that irritates them. These irritants are called allergens, and when the allergens meet the eye, a substance called histamine is produced as a defense mechanism to fight off the allergens, and as a result, the eyelids and conjunctiva become, swollen and itchy. Eye allergies can also occur alone or with nasal allergies.

Children are more prone to eye allergies because their eye-to-hand contact Is high which makes transmission of allergens from the environment to their eyes very easy. Statistically eye allergies occur in 10% of children in any given population.

There are two types of eye allergies.; Seasonal, which is more common and Perennial. Seasonal allergies happen at certain times of the year, usually during the last three months of the year (Harmattan season). Triggers are allergens in the air, commonly pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds. Perennial allergies happen year-round, and the major causes include dust mites, feathers (in bedding), and animal (pet) dander. Other substances include perfumes, smoke, chlorine, air pollution, cosmetics, and certain medications.

How do you know if your child has an eye allergy?

  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Tearing or runny eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Soreness, and burning sensation.
  • Sensitivity to light
  • No pain or fever
  • No discharge or sticky, stringing mucus discharge

Can Eye allergies turn into an infection?

Allergic conjunctivitis usually affects both eyes and sometimes an eye infection can develop in addition conjunctivitis usually occurs while itching because most bacteria are also carried into the eye in the process of trying to itch the eyes. A “Hands-off Approach” works best while managing allergic conjunctivitis in children.

Can eye allergy go away on its own?

Without treatment, your symptoms could last the entire time provided the allergens is present. If your seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is “simple” – the most common kind, then the treatment will cure your symptoms quickly.

Which eye drops are safe for kids?

The following are some of the home remedies which can be used to prevent eye allergies in children.

  • Parents and caregivers should try to note the triggers of their child's eye allergies and prevent it
  • Staying indoors when pollen counts are highest, usually in the early morning and early evening.
  • When you go out, wear eyeglasses or big sunglasses to block pollen from your eyes.
  • To limit your exposure to dust mites, use special pillow covers that keep allergens out. Wash bedding frequently in hot water.
  • Clean floors with a damp mop. Sweeping tends to stir up rather than get rid of allergens. Especially if you have a pet, consider replacing rugs and carpets which trap and hold allergens.

It is always safer to visit a nearby eye clinic when allergies occur to get a better and more professional assessment from the onset.



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