Eye Allergies (cont.)
Questions to Ask the Doctor About Eye Allergies
- Is there a specific, identifiable cause?
- How can symptoms be controlled?
How Do Specialists Diagnose an Eye Allergy?
Most often, a medical professional is able to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis from the symptoms alone. Testing is rarely necessary. In certain cases, an ophthalmologist may perform the following test to rule out other conditions:
- The front of the eyes are examined using a special microscope, called a slit lamp. Using the slit lamp, an ophthalmologist checks the eyes for dilated blood vessels, conjunctival swelling, and eyelid swelling, all of which are indicative of an allergic reaction.
- Rarely, scraping of the conjunctiva is performed to check for eosinophils. Eosinophils are certain white blood cells that are commonly associated with allergies.
- An allergist may perform testing to identify an environmental trigger for eye symptoms. Testing generally involves skin prick testing for a standard panel of airborne allergens. The allergist may also order blood work looking for allergic antibodies for various allergens (in vitro IgE testing).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2016
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