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Eye Allergies

Eye Allergies Overview

Approximately 20% of the population suffers from allergic conditions, most commonly environmental allergies. Allergic reactions to environmental agents that involve the eyes are common. An allergic reaction that affects the conjunctiva, a clear layer of mucous membrane overlying the eyes, is referred to as allergic conjunctivitis.

Allergic conjunctivitis is divided into several major subtypes, with the most common subtypes being seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) and perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC). SAC and PAC are triggered by an immune reaction involving a sensitized individual and an allergen. Simply stated, this means that if someone is allergic to a particular substance, such as pollen, and then is exposed to it, this triggers an allergic reaction. In the eyes, the allergic reaction causes itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, and/or swollen eyes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2016
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