Ocular Allergies

This is a very common condition that can range from mild to severe. It can also occur in children in a separate condition known as vernal keratoconjuncitivis and these children need regular follow up and treatment by an Ophthalmologist as the complications can be sight threatening.


Patients typically present with red, itchy eyes. There might be associated eyelid or conjunctival swelling as well as other allergic symptoms such as a runny nose or sneezing. With VKC (vernal keratoconjunctivitis ) the patients may have brown looking sclera, jelly like bumps around the cornea or even corneal ulcers.

Causes and Risk factors

Determining the cause is often very difficult and common allergens include dust, pollen, animal dander, pollution and grass. Patients are often prone to other allergic diseases. There is often a seasonal exacerbation when the allergic conjunctivitis may be worse. With VKC the patient may suffer from dermatitis/eczema or general atopy and there may be a genetic component.


Depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the disease the treatment will vary. Typical allergic eye drops will often be used and possibly the addition of steroid eye drops and lubrication. In children with VKC the treatment is usually more intense with repeated follow-ups and tests to prevent or treat sight threatening complications.

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