Common signs associated with allergic inflammation of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis in Latin) are burning, tearing (epiphora), redness, swelling of the eyelids and conjunctiva, and almost as a rule itching and consequent rubbing of the eyes. The discharge from the eye is usually mucous, stringy, mixed with tears. There is also an increased sensitivity to strong light, draught, or smoke and dust in the air. These symptoms are often accompanied by a runny nose — manifested as clear discharge from the nose, itchy nose and sneezing. These kinds of discomforts usually occur after a stay in nature on a warm and sunny day, when the concentration of pollen in the air is highest. If a person is allergic to house dust, mites, and pet hair, the discomforts will be most pronounced in contact with carpets, curtains, blankets, plush toys and similar materials, which retain a larger amount of such allergens. Recently, we have also seen an increase in allergies to preservatives and chemicals in cosmetics and cleaning products.
Clinical examination can reveal inflammatory signs on the conjunctiva — redness, accumulation of inflammatory cells, mucous secretions and swelling of the skin of the eyelids and conjunctiva, which sometimes creates real blisters that protrude from the eyelid cleft and can seem worrying to patients and their friends. In more severe cases, inflammation can also affect the cornea, most often its peripheral part right next to the sclera. The first and most simple measures to help the situation are to remove oneself from the location with high allergen concentration, wash the face with cold water and use cold compresses to reduce both the symptoms of itching and the signs of inflammation. If there are signs of allergies in the respiratory system — shortness of breath, irritated cough, wheezing — it is necessary to seek medical attention.