Eye Allergies (cont.)
What Causes an Eye Allergy?
Ocular (eye) allergies often affect the conjunctiva, a clear layer of mucous membrane overlying the eyes. This clear layer of mucous membrane is the same type of mucous membrane that lines the inside surface of the nose. As these two areas are so similar, the same allergens (substances that induce an allergic reaction) can trigger the same allergic response in both areas.
Common allergens include the following:
- Dust mites
- Pets (especially cats and dogs)
The main difference between SAC and PAC is the timing of the symptoms.
- In an individual with SAC, symptoms are generally limited to a defined period of time.
- Typically, tree pollen causes symptoms in the spring, grasses cause symptoms in the summer, and weeds trigger symptoms in late summer and fall time until the first hard frost.
- Symptoms generally resolve during other times of the year, particularly during the wintertime.
- In an individual with PAC, symptoms are generally present throughout the year.
- Instead of being triggered by outdoor allergens, symptoms are triggered by indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pets, mold, and even cockroaches, particularly in urban areas.
- Individuals with PAC may still experience a seasonal worsening of symptoms if they are also sensitized to outdoor allergens in addition to their indoor allergens.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2016
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