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Eye Allergy: The Real Score - Allergy Results
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Eye Allergy: The Real Score

Studies reveal that approximately 27 million Americans suffer from one kind of eye allergy or another. Manifestations of eye allergy such as redness, inflammation and incessant protein production can be very frustrating and stressful which requires several consultations and visits to an eye doctor as these conditions may develop into a possible loss of eyesight.

There are cases wherein people who suffer from allergies such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis and topical eczema or dermatitis also develop an eye allergy. Research reveals that people who have a genetic history of such allergies are most likely to get eye allergy as well, before they reach 30 years of age since the triggers of eye allergy are the exact same allergens aside from face cleansers and cosmetics.

To have a better understanding of eye allergy, basic knowledge of the external anatomy of the eye is necessary. The mucus membrane covering the white surface of the eyeball and inner folds of the eyelid is the conjunctiva; it is full of blood vessels and contains more mast cells than the lungs. In the upper and outer portion of the eye are the lachrymal (tear) glands that produce tears that lubricate the eye. Whereas the cornea is the transparent sheath in front of the lens of the eye.

Unlike the nose, the conjunctiva has no natural filtering system and is always exposed to the environment whenever we open our eyes. As a reaction to environmental or other types of allergens, the antibody, IgE, coats the conjunctive mast cells in order to release histamine substances and mediators when exposure to the allergens occur again causing the eye allergy reaction of itchiness together with a burning sensation and runny eyes.

Eye allergy can be of various types.
Of the various types of foreign substance induced reactions affecting the eye, the most common is allergic conjunctivitis or allergic rhino conjunctivitis. This is a common seasonal affliction wherein inflammation of the conjunctiva makes the blood vessels swell which cause redness, itching, and teariness of the eyes.

Adolescent males are more prone to atopic keratoconjunctivitis type of eye allergy, which is common among boys who have had atopic dermatitis during childhood. Common manifestation of this condition is marked by extreme itchy red areas on the eyelids, heavy discharge from the eyes, and scaly and crustiness of the eyelids.

Another unusual form of eye allergy is vernal keratoconjunctivitis that affects preadolescent boys in the rural areas during late spring; common manifestations are extreme itchiness of the eyes, sensitivity to light, and the lids feel uncomfortable and droopy.
Extended use of contact lenses can result to another type of eye allergy called giant papillary conjunctivitis, the formation of substantial bumps on the conjunctiva under the eyelid.

Contact eye allergy is essentially contact dermatitis of the eyelids
This condition is prevalent among women and is the result of allergic reactions to preservatives in eye products and cosmetics, which can result to develop blisters, itchiness, and redness.

Most people suffering from an eye allergy can self-medicate effectively with over the counter products. However, if conditions persist and do not subside, medical attention is necessary as these conditions may lead to a loss of eyesight.

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