If the allergy is not attended to, the cornea could be affected in the long run
The eyes are the windows to the soul and reflect the state of the mind. As far as they are bright and sprightly, it is good enough but if they are red, watery and itchy they may not necessarily reflect the real state of mind and would leave an unnecessary impression. One of the usual reasons for the eyes to appear that way would be allergy. Most of the changes of allergy over the eye may not necessarily be dangerous but can be definitely irritating.
The eyes and the inner layer of the eyelids are covered by a thin and transparent membrane layer called the conjunctiva. This layer forms a barrier between the environments and offers resistance to any infective agents trying to gain entry into the tissues both physically and functionally as the layer is enriched with white blood cells to engulf the disturbing agents. But sometimes the response could be a little erratic and the layer seems to react to innocuous substances by producing an allergic reaction. This response leads to excessive watering of the eyes, redness of the eyes as the blood vessels of the area become flushed as they are geared up to release more protective white blood cells and to top it all the itching sensation.
Typically only the conjunctiva could be allergic but it could be associated with allergy of the nasal lining causing rhinitis. Individuals with allergy of the eye do also tend to suffer from allergy of the skin like atopic eczema or even the allergic reaction of the skin over the eyelids. Dry, dusty winds, outdoor allergens such as pollen, indoor allergens like dust mites, mold and dander have been found to be usual suspects. People using contact lenses have been found to be prone to it, more so if they happen to wear it all day and night long etc. The skin over the eyelids can be affected more so in women who happen to apply eye creams, mascara, eyeliners etc.
Watering of the eyes is the usual symptom. Itching is the symptom which compels one to rub the eyes and that leaves them more red and swollen. If there is bacterial infection because of constant rubbing there is also sticking of the eyes on waking and yellow discharge too. If the allergy is not attended to, the cornea could be affected in the long run leading to visual symptoms which are undesirable.
Avoiding the known triggers of allergy is crucial in treatment of this condition. Rubbing is a physical trigger and is better avoided too. With sudden allergic reactions, washing eyes often and cold compress are found to be useful. Homoeopathic medicine is probably a wholesome medication as far as allergy is concerned and more so in case of the eyes. Ars alb, Sulphur, Euphrasia are prime remedies when the manifestation of allergy in the form of itching and redness is predominant, Natrum mur helps when the nasal allergy is associated with it and Thuja helps if the skin allergy is associated with the eyes. Pulsatilla has been known to prevent and cure the secondary infection of the eyes and the stinging pain is always controlled with help of Apis mel.
Dr. Venugopal Gouri
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