Allergic reaction in the eye is termed ‘Allergic conjunctivitis’, this is a non infectious form of conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is the most common type of eye allergy. It occurs when the membrane covering the eye (the conjunctiva) becomes inflamed, causing itchy, red or watery eyes.
There are two common types of allergic conjunctivitis: seasonal and perennial.
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis occurs only during certain seasons.
Perennial allergic conjunctivitis persists throughout the year.
The symptoms are similar in both.
Causes of eye allergies or Allergic Conjunctivitis
Exposure to common allergens such as dust, mold, animal hair, pets and pollens are the commonest causes. When these allergens come in contact with the surface of the eye, an allergic reaction occurs, releasing a substance called histamine that causes itching, redness or watering.
What Are the Symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
You may or may not have all the following:-
Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
Increased amount of tears and watering of eyes
Itchy , foreign body sensation in the eyes
Feeling of dryness in the eyes
Swollen or puffy eyelids
How Is Allergic Conjunctivitis detected?
Our ophthalmologist (eye specialist) will diagnose this condition if you have any of these persistent symptoms as similar symptoms also occur with an infectious form of conjunctivitis.
To detect the “trigger allergen” now blood tests are also available
What is the treatment?
Allergy-associated conjunctivitis may disappear completely, either when the allergy is treated with antihistamines, or when the allergen is removed.
It includes the use of antihistamines, decongestants and anti-inflammatory agents to treat the cause, for e.g. treat the cold.
We may recommend you use one or more of the following for your eyes:
Antihistamine eye drops: These reduce redness, swelling and itching by blocking the actions of histamine, the chemical that causes these symptoms of allergy. They are available both over-the-counter and by prescription.
Steroid eye drops: We may prescribe steroid eye drops to relieve the symptoms of conjunctivitis when needed. These must be used only under supervision of the eye doctor since they can cause elevated pressure inside of the eye, which can lead to vision damage.
These should not be used by you on your own, even if symptoms recur. Other ways to reduce seasonal allergens include:
Shutting doors and windows to keep allergens from environment out
Using the air-conditioning to filter allergens from the air
Staying indoors when the pollen count is high
Avoiding gardening work if possible
Other ways to reduce perennial allergic conjunctivitis include:
Sweeping and dusting with a face mask, avoiding it if already symptomatic
Vacuuming carpets weekly
Keeping pets out of bedrooms
Avoid carpets as they collect allergens such as dust
What Can I Do to Relieve Symptoms?
Discontinue contact lenses, if using them.
Use cold compresses on your eyes- cotton wool soaked in cold wa
Try “artificial tears,” or lubricating eye drops which help relieve itching and burning (Note: Other types of eye drops may irritate the eyes and should not be used.) Do not use the same bottle of drops if opened and unused for over a month
The best defense against allergic conjunctivitis is a good offense: try to avoid substances that trigger your allergies. Other Tips:
Don’t touch or rub the affected eye(s). Wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes, especially after cleaning activities or outdoors.
Wash your bed linens; pillowcases regularly to reduce dust mites- cover the pillow cases with hypoallergenic material like Tyvek™ available in many stores.
Avoid wearing eye makeup when having the allergy.
Don’t share eye makeup with anyone else.
Never wear another person’s contact lens.
Wear glasses instead of contact lenses to reduce irritation.
Eye makeup and Allergies
Eye makeup such as Eye Shadow, Mascara, Eye Liner etc are very popular and are used nowadays on a daily basis by many women that too for extended hours.
Although, many products claim to be hypo allergenic, they may give rise to certain eye problems like allergic conjunctivitis. However, if used properly, make up would generally not give rise to any problems.
The eye problems occur in the following situations:
Sharing of Eye Make up
Using old (expired date) make up
Using make up of poor quality
Using make up incorrectly
In presence of the above, it could lead to an inflammation of the eye. While most cases of eye inflammation are not too serious, it is still important to control the severity of the inflammation as well as the duration to be sure to avoid any scarring and permanent damage. Because the eyes are such delicate organs, even a small amount of scar tissue can cause irreversible visual impairment.
Eye shadows and facial powders can contain potentially irritating cosmetic-grade lanolin (in creme products), talc, polymethyl methacrylate (used to hold talc and oil ingredients together in eye shadows), and phenylmercuric acetate (a mascara preservative) which may be allergic for certain skin types.
Self-care tips for make up
Using good quality products and replacing them when old. If you have a form of conjunctivitis caused by an infection, wash your hands often and do not touch your eyes.
Do not share eye makeup, sunglasses, or towels, washcloths, or pillows with others. Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment to clear the infection. Make a warm or cold compress by using a clean cloth or cotton swab. Use only boiled or purified water to wet the cloth and place this on the closed eye. A warm compress typically helps to reduce discomfort, while a cold compress works well to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
You can use Johnson and Johnson – ‘No More Tears Shampoo’, a few drops in warm water to clean eye make up
Now you can lose your glasses…. on purpose!!
Remember how your life changed when you had to get glasses? Now you can change it back and see naturally again. All this is possible now thanks to laser vision correction. We know you need more information to make an informed decision; so we would like to answer some of the questions you may have while considering this procedure.
What is LASIK ?
Laser Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis [LASIK] is a method of re-shaping the external surface of the eye [the cornea] to correct low, moderate and high degrees of nearsightedness, astigmatism and far-sightedness. During the treatment, an instrument called the microkeratome creates a corneal flap to make it a painless procedure. The computerized Excimer laser then uses a cool beam of light to gently reshape the cornea so as to alter its curvature to the desired extent. The flap when replaced on the new corneal curvature allows images to be sharply focused on the retina. The goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce the dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
Who is a candidate ? The treatment is for patients who have a refractive error and meet certain visual and medical criteria. In addition the best candidates tend to be those who are dissatisfied with their contact lenses or glasses and are motivated to make a change, whether it is due to occupational or lifestyle reasons. However, only a thorough examination by our LASIK team can evaluate whether or not you are medically suited for LASIK.
Is LASIK safe ?
Yes. When choosing this method to improve your vision safety should be your first concern. It’s ours too. New generation Excimer lasers and advances in technique offer the highest degree of accuracy and utmost safety. Recent studies conducted internationally and by us show it to be a very safe and effective procedure.
Is LASIK successful ?
Yes. LASIK is a permanent treatment. However, patients who are 40 years and above may require reading glasses. Millions of patients worldwide and thousands at our centre have had an Excimer laser refractive procedure done on them successfully. During your consultation we will give you an idea of the procedure and the level of vision you can expect.
Are there other refractive procedures ?
You may have heard about PRK [photo refractive keratectomy]. You may have also heard about the surgery known as RK [radial keratotomy]. You need to understand that these are two completely different procedures from LASIK with less predictable results.
Is this the latest technology ?
The latest and most reliable procedure is wavefront-guided LASIK, a customized treatment for each eye. Our excimer lasers use high-speed sensitive eye trackers to ensure perfectly centered treatments. Wavefront procedures even often leave patients with eyesight better than normal. We are committed to providing our patients with the best that technology and technique has to offer. This is one of the best laser in Mumbai, India
Does this procedure hurt?
No. There is no pain during the procedure. There may be mild discomfort for a few hours after the procedure.
I need to know what to expect the day of treatment ?
This is an outpatient procedure. The laser treatment usually takes less than a minute. The entire procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes per eye. First you will lie on a motorised bed to which the laser is attached. Anesthetic drops will be placed in the eye. The head is positioned under the laser and the eyelids are gently and comfortably kept open during the treatment with the help of a soft clip by our doctor. You will be asked to look at a blinking light during the entire procedure. Once the procedure is completed, a soft corneal protective shield is sometimes placed on the eye. A post-procedure eye examination is performed and eye drops are prescribed. We will inform you about the follow-up schedule.
How soon can i return to work ?
You will notice an improvement in vision within 4-6 hours and a restoration of functional vision by the next morning. However, complete recovery may take up to 48 hours. Some people get back to work the day after treatment. Two or three days are suggested.
Meet Dr Anand Shroff, our LASIK eye surgeon or specialist today. A new world of natural vision could be waiting for you. Visit www.lasikindia.in for complete details about LASK.
For most people with poor vision from cataract, the opportunities of regaining good vision and resuming normal daily activities are excellent.
What is a cataract?
The term ‘cataract’ is used to describe the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The vision dims because the cataract prevents light from passing beyond the lens and focusing on the retina.
Common symptoms of a cataract:
Painless blurring of vision
Glare or light sensitivity
Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
Poor night vision
Needing a brighter light to read
Double vision in one eye
Common misconceptions cleared:
Cataract is not a film over the surface of the eye
It is not caused by overusing the eyes
It is not infectious and will not spread from one eye to the other
It is not a cancer
It is not a cause of irreversible blindness
What causes a cataract?
The most common cause is due to aging and referred to as a ‘senile cataract’.
Other common causes are:
Medical problems, such as diabetes
Long-term use of medications, such as steroids
Injury to the eye
Congenital, since birth
Previous eye surgery
Long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight
How is a cataract detected?
A thorough eye examination by an ophthalmologist detects the presence and the extent of a cataract. Other conditions that could additionally compromise vision can also be detected, particularly problems involving the cornea, retina or the optic nerve.
How fast does a cataract develop?
Cataract development varies among individuals and may even vary between the two eyes. Most cataracts associated with the aging process develop over years. Cataracts in younger patients and in those with diabetes may develop more rapidly.
How do you treat a cataract?
Surgery is the only way a cataract can be treated. No dietary supplements, medications, exercises or optical devices have been proven to prevent or cure cataract.
When should surgery be done?
Surgery should be considered when the cataract causes visual disturbance enough to interfere with daily activities. Based on these needs and the examination findings, the patient and the ophthalmologist should decide together when surgery is appropriate. Cataracts need not be mature or ‘ripe’ before removal.
What should you expect from a cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is a day care, microscopic surgery performed under anaesthesia eye drops or local anaesthesia. The cloudy lens is removed leaving its capsule behind, within which a permanent, artificial intraocular lens is implanted. Today, there are a wide range of intraocular lens implants available, which not only replace the cataract, but also give visual advantages with better near vision, improved night vision and also can reduce or eliminate the need for spectacles post surgery. After cataract surgery, you can return immediately to almost all routine activities. Medication must be administered as per the instructions of your cataract surgeon or ophthalmologist.
Low stress cataract surgery at Shroff Eye:
The entire surgical experience at our centres has been designed to help patients and their families be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. This “patient first, family-friendly” approach is at the heart of the surgical experience. Your family will have an opportunity to view your live cataract surgery.
Phacoemulsification is a micro-incision technique of cataract surgery wherein an ultrasound probe breaks the cataract into tiny pieces and sucks them out. The foldable lens implant is inserted through a very small incision (2.8 – 3.0 mm) as compared to an approximately 5 mm incision to accommodate a non-foldable lens. The incision are self-sealing and needs no stitches. Your ophthalmologist will help you decide as to which lens implant is most suitable for you.
Benefits to you:
Smaller incision resulting in faster healing and visual rehabilitation
Reduced surgical time
No stitch surgery.
Painless or minimal post-operative discomfort
A quick return to your normal routine.
Click here to watch a cataract surgery video
Can a cataract be treated with medicines or a laser?
No. Since the cataract occurs within the lens matter of the eye, no medication stops the progress of or treats the cataract. There is no medical or laser treatment for cataract other than replacing this lens with a surgery.
However, in layman terms today’s modern cataract surgery is called ‘laser cataract surgery’ as there are no stitches, although there is no actual use of the laser. The cataract is dissolved using ultrasound waves from an equipment and is medically termed ‘phacoemulsification’.
Today’s procedures are quick, not taking more than 20 minutes of surgical time, pain free under topical (only eye drops) or local anaesthesia. Ask your ophthalmologist if you are eligible for topical aneasthesia.
Are there any complications of cataract surgery?
At our centres, we follow the highest standards of healthcare and strict protocols of infection control. We understand your fears regarding an eye surgery, but you stand a greater risk of not doing cataract surgery when required, as the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes to treat the cataract easily and there is a greater chance of surgical complications.
Standard Vs Premium Lens Implants?
Multifocal and Accomodative Implants are a new technology in cataract treatment wherein you can gain additional benefit of reducing your dependence on reading glasses.
Standard Lens Implants
Single focus- usually distant
100% need for reading glasses
Insurance usually covers the cost
Premium Lens Implants
Multiple focuses- near, intermediate and distant
Reduces or eliminates need for reading glasses
May be reimbursed partially by insurance
Lens Implants available at Shroff Eye:
Monofocal: AMO Sensar / Akreos / Rycef /Matrix/ Alcon Expanse
Monofocal Wavefront : AMO Tecnis / Akreos AO / Zeiss ZO/Acrysof Alcon IQ
Monofocal Microincision: Bausch and Lomb MIL
Monofocal Toric: Alcon / Zeiss
Multifocal: Tecnis / Restor / Rezoom/ Zeiss
Multifocal Toric: Alcon / Zeiss
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