Is Vernal Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is an infection that causes discomfort, redness,
and irritation in the tissues that line the eyes. It is more commonly referred
to as “pink-eye.” Most cases of conjunctivitis are caused by viruses or
bacteria. Vernal conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is caused by an allergic
This chronic eye inflammation initially occurs most frequently
during the spring and summer months. This is due to a normal seasonal increase
in allergens (such as pollen) in the air. It can also be caused by an allergic
reaction to other things, such as:
- chlorine in swimming pools
- cigarette smoke
- ingredients in cosmetics.
Mild cases of conjunctivitis can be treated with cold compresses
and lubricating eye drops. For more severe cases, antihistamines or
anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.
of Vernal Conjunctivitis
Symptoms of this condition include:
- irritated, painful, itchy eyes
- a burning sensation in the eyes
- excessive tearing
- swollen eyes (especially the area around the
edge of the cornea where the cornea meets the sclera, or white of the eye )
- pink or red eyes
- sensitivity to bright light
- blurry vision
- eyelids that are rough, bumpy, and have white
mucus (especially inside the upper lids)
The symptoms listed above are also symptoms in other eye conditions.
Occasionally experiencing itchy or red eyes is not always a cause for concern.
However, you should contact your doctor right away if your red eye lasts for
several days, or is accompanied by eye pain or vision changes.
Causes Vernal Conjunctivitis?
This condition is caused by reaction to allergens, such as pollen
and pet dander.
You are at an increased risk of developing the condition if you
have a family history of allergies, especially asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis.
You are also at a higher risk if you have other seasonal
There are not any established diagnostic criteria or lab tests to
diagnose vernal conjunctivitis. A doctor can usually diagnose vernal
conjunctivitis by asking about your medical history and examining your eye.
Options for Vernal Conjunctivitis
The first think to do is to avoid rubbing your eyes because this
causes further irritation.
Most cases can be treated at home. At home remedies include:
- lubricating eye drops
- over-the-counter antihistamines, such as
- cold compresses: apply these to your closed eyes
several times a day for temporary relief
Learn to identify and avoid the allergen that is causing your
inflammation to avoid future irritation. Stay indoors and use air conditioning
during high-allergen hours of the day during spring and summer months to help
cut down on your exposure to outdoor allergens.
If your symptoms occur frequently or last longer than a few days,
your doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops or antihistamines.
Complications and Long-Term Outlook
Most people find relief from their allergy symptoms when the
weather turns colder or if they can avoid the allergen. If your condition
becomes chronic, it can affect your vision or scar your cornea, which is the
outermost layer of the eye that protects the eyes from dust, germs, and other
If your symptoms do not improve with home care, worsen or begin
to interfere with your vision, make an appointment to see your eye doctor,
allergist, or primary care physician to avoid long-term complications.