HEALTH ENCYCLOPEDIA

Diseases & Conditions A - Z
powered by Talix

Vernal Conjunctivitis

What Is Vernal Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an infection that causes discomfort, redness, and irritation in the tissues that line the eyes. It is more commonly referred to as “pink-eye.” Most cases of conjunctivitis are caused by viruses or bacteria. Vernal conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is caused by an allergic reaction.

This chronic eye inflammation initially occurs most frequently during the spring and summer months. This is due to a normal seasonal increase in allergens (such as pollen) in the air. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction to other things, such as:

  • chlorine in swimming pools
  • cigarette smoke
  • ingredients in cosmetics.

Mild cases of conjunctivitis can be treated with cold compresses and lubricating eye drops. For more severe cases, antihistamines or anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.

Symptoms of Vernal Conjunctivitis

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • irritated, painful, itchy eyes
  • a burning sensation in the eyes
  • excessive tearing
  • swollen eyes (especially the area around the edge of the cornea where the cornea meets the sclera, or white of the eye )
  • pink or red eyes
  • sensitivity to bright light
  • blurry vision
  • eyelids that are rough, bumpy, and have white mucus (especially inside the upper lids)

The symptoms listed above are also symptoms in other eye conditions. Occasionally experiencing itchy or red eyes is not always a cause for concern. However, you should contact your doctor right away if your red eye lasts for several days, or is accompanied by eye pain or vision changes.

What Causes Vernal Conjunctivitis?

This condition is caused by reaction to allergens, such as pollen and pet dander.

You are at an increased risk of developing the condition if you have a family history of allergies, especially asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis.

You are also at a higher risk if you have other seasonal allergies.

Diagnosing Vernal Conjunctivitis

There are not any established diagnostic criteria or lab tests to diagnose vernal conjunctivitis. A doctor can usually diagnose vernal conjunctivitis by asking about your medical history and examining your eye.

Treatment Options for Vernal Conjunctivitis

The first think to do is to avoid rubbing your eyes because this causes further irritation.

Most cases can be treated at home. At home remedies include:

  • lubricating eye drops
  • over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl
  • cold compresses: apply these to your closed eyes several times a day for temporary relief

Learn to identify and avoid the allergen that is causing your inflammation to avoid future irritation. Stay indoors and use air conditioning during high-allergen hours of the day during spring and summer months to help cut down on your exposure to outdoor allergens.

If your symptoms occur frequently or last longer than a few days, your doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops or antihistamines.

Potential Complications and Long-Term Outlook

Most people find relief from their allergy symptoms when the weather turns colder or if they can avoid the allergen. If your condition becomes chronic, it can affect your vision or scar your cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye that protects the eyes from dust, germs, and other harmful agents.

If your symptoms do not improve with home care, worsen or begin to interfere with your vision, make an appointment to see your eye doctor, allergist, or primary care physician to avoid long-term complications.


Content licensed from:

Written by: Ann Pietrangelo
Published on: Aug 02, 2012on: Feb 12, 2016

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
health
TOOLS
Symptom Search
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Drug Interaction Checker
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Pill Identifier
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Drugs A-Z
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
Advertisement

 

 

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits AT&T Wireless Cell Phone

Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advertisement