Allergy of the Eyes – Eye Allergies
THE STRUCTURES of the eye are frequently involved with allergy. Symptoms such as smarting, burning, itching or thickening of the eyelids may be mild or can be very serious, involving the eyeball and inner structures of the eye. Ulceration, cataracts and even blindness can occur. Allergy of the eyes, in most cases, can be cured or marked relief can be obtained, if patience, proper allergic study and good eye care are given.
Among the frequent conditions affecting the eye, contact dermatitis of the lids is probably the most common and the least serious. The skin will thicken, wrinkle and discolor due to the rubbing because of the itching. In women, the causes are usually cosmetics. In men, the usual causes are shaving materials, hair tonics, tobacco or some occupational contact.
The cause must be found and removed early or complications will result by affecting the lining of the eyeball proper or conjunctiva. This will cause congestion, watering of the eyes and extreme light sensitivity, requiring the use of sunglasses.
Angioedema of the eye structures, as in other cases of giant hives, is due to bedding, feather pillows, woolen coverings or face creams.
A condition known as blepharitis involves the edge or margin of the eyelids with congestion, scales and, at times, weeping. This is often due to cosmetics. It is frequently associated with dandruff of the scalp, which may aggravate the condition. To cure the allergy, the scalp must be treated for dandruff. Staphylococci are responsible for some of these conditions because the individual has become allergic to these bacteria.
Sties and cysts about the eyelids, if other causes are eliminated, may be due to food allergens, inhalants and staphylococci.
Conjunctivitis is common as an allergic manifestation, and may be due to most external allergens. Extreme itching, burning, tearing and light-sensitiveness, as well as spasms about the eyes, are common. The lids will reveal pinpoint- to pin-head-sized hives. The lower lid is usually the more seriously affected. The most severe forms of conjunctivitis are known as vernal catarrh. Conjunctivitis is commonly associated with the respiratory allergies, hay fever, perennial allergic rhinitis and asthma.
The conditions involving the deeper structures, such as the cornea, lens, retina and others, are too technical to be satisfactorily presented, but they are involved in the problem of allergy. If a condition persists after the usual treatment, one must consider the possibility of an allergic cause. Cataracts, gradual loss of vision and nearsightedness have not infrequently been associated with allergy.
A sudden loss of vision from excessive smoking or the taking of alcoholic beverages is due to allergy to the grain or tobacco leaf, or to sensitivity to alcohol, respectively. There are many such cases on record. Written By: Jack A. Rudolph, M.D. & Burton M. Rudolph. M.D., Continue Reading: Allergic and Migraine Headaches