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Allergic conjunctivitis



  Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the white part of the eye) due to allergy. Although allergens differ between patients, the most common cause is hay fever. Symptoms consist of redness (mainly due to vasodilation of the peripheral small blood vessels), oedema of the conjunctiva, itching and increased lacrimation (production of tears). If this is combined with rhinitis, the condition is termed allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

Additional recommended knowledge

The symptoms are due to release of histamine and other active substances by mast cells, which stimulate dilation of blood vessels, irritate nerve endings and increase secretion of tears.

Treatment of allergic conjunctivitis is by avoiding the allergen (e.g. avoiding grass in bloom during the "hay fever season") and treatment with antihistamines, either topical (in the form of eye drops), or systemic (in the form of tablets). Cromoglicate is sometimes used topically. Azelastine is available as a nasal spray and eye drops.

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Allergic_conjunctivitis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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