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Allergic Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye,” is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane lining under the eyelids) and can be caused by allergies or infections. Allergic conjunctivitis and conjunctivitis caused by an infection can be hard to distinguish. Both have similar symptoms, such as redness, itching and swelling in the eye area. However, when conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, both eyes are usually affected. Viral or bacterial conjunctivitis can affect either a single eye or both eyes. It is important to pinpoint whether someone has conjunctivitis because of allergies or infection since each condition has a different treatment. Common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are redness and itching under the eyelid, excessive watering and swelling of the eyeball. Make every effort to avoid allergens. Cool compresses decrease swelling and itching.  Artificial tears dilute the allergens and form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye. Avoid rubbing the eyes. It makes the symptoms worse. If allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, see your eye doctor. There are several new safe and effective anti-allergy drops that can be prescribed. Your eye doctor can also make sure symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem.

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