In the U.S., an estimated 50 million people are affected by allergies. The eyes are commonly affected
during allergy season. Itchy, swollen, and irritated eyes are a common complaint among allergy sufferers. Like our skin, our eyes are constantly exposed to the environment, and thus our eyes are being constantly bombarded by airborne allergens including dust, animal dander, dirt, mold, and pollen. Patients can even be allergic to the beauty products that they use around the eye! Two of the most common ocular conditions caused by allergies are allergic conjunctivitis, and contact dermatitis. At Kung Eye we perform advanced allergy testing to help pinpoint specific causes of allergies so that we can create a unique, and personalized treatment plan.
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The eye is covered by a thin, skin-like layer called the conjunctiva. This layer helps protect the eye from the environment. When airborne debris such as pollen or dander gets into the eye it can cause an allergic reaction–this is known as allergic conjunctivitis. Acute allergic conjunctivitis occurs short term and is most common during allergy season, while chronic allergic conjunctivitis can occur year-round.
Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis often develop rapidly after exposure to an allergen and can include:
Contact Dermatitis is an allergic reaction of the eyes and eyelids from direct contact with an allergen. Fragrances and dyes in detergents, preservatives in eye drops, makeup, and moisturizers are the most common culprits. In patients with atopic contact dermatitis, allergies can cause symptoms. For those with irritant contact dermatitis, contact with an irritating substance is the cause of symptoms. Regardless of what form of dermatitis you have, the result can be uncomfortable.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis of the eyelid include:
If you are affected by eye allergies and live in the Staten Island or East Brunswick area, the doctors at Kung Eye Center can help tailor the best treatment for you to stop the irritation and help you get back to living your life.