Groupings of Eye Allergies
About one-fifth of the American population has an eye allergy. Despite this, many Americans do not realize that there are several different groupings of eye allergies that affect the correct treatment and precautions needed to follow for their allergies! The groupings are as follows:
Group 1: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis
Those with Group 1 optical allergies have typical allergic reactions, which are caused by airborne antigens such as pollen and dander. These allergies tend to resurge around the springtime, when there are higher concentrations of these antigens in the air as plants begin to bloom. The primary symptom of Group 1 optical allergies is extreme itching, but also includes redness, swelling, and burning. These optical allergies may be chronic, but they are also likely seasonal and can be largely mitigated by eyedrops or other treatments.
Group 2: Vernal keratoconjunctivitis
Group 2 optical allergies are rarer and more serious than seasonal eye allergies. This grouping of optical allergies is unique because it occurs mostly in young boys and wears off around puberty. Unfortunately, it may cause irreversible corneal damage to patients. The primary symptoms include red eyes with swollen eyelids, as well as intensive itching. Those presumed to have this group of optical allergies are advised to seek medical attention.
Group 3: Contact allergic dermatitis
Group 3 optical allergies are primarily found in contact lens users. They are presumed to be caused by microtraumas produced by the lenses. In other cases, it is caused by the presence of antigens formed by the combination of hapten proteins from the tear film with the lens material, causing an immune reaction. Primary symptoms include discomfort upon placing contact lenses, and irritation that is caused by contact lenses.