Signs and Symptoms
The following are the most common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Itchy eyes
- Watery discharge
- Swelling of the eyelids
- Redness of the eyes
- Stringy discharge from the eyes
The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis may resemble other medical conditions. Always talk with your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
Allergic Conjunctivitis Diagnosis
Cultures of eye drainage are usually not done for allergic conjunctivitis. A diagnosis of conjunctivitis is usually made based on a complete medical history and physical examination.
Treatment for Allergic Conjunctivitis
There is no cure for allergic conjunctivitis. The best management is to avoid the irritant. Cold compresses to your child's eyes may also help with the itching and swelling.
Your child’s doctor will determine the specific treatment for allergic conjunctivitis based on:
- Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the reaction
- Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the reaction
- Your opinion or preference
Your child's physician may prescribe the following medications to help with the symptoms:
- Antihistamines -- these help to decrease histamine release which may help to decrease the itchy, watery eyes. Some examples are diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydroxyzine (Atarax). These medications may make your child drowsy.
- Nonsedating antihistamines -- work similar to antihistamines but without the side effect of making your child drowsy. These might include cetirizine (Zyrtec) or loratadine (Claritin).
- Eye drops (to help relieve the itching and redness)