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Suffering from sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. Should I be worried?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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film over eyeI am a 30 year old female. I cleaned my apartment today and kicked up a bunch of dust that has been hiding behind things that don't get moved a lot. After that I started having the symptoms that I am starting to catch a cold. Sneezing, itchy eyes, and a little bit of a runny nose. That isn't anything new. It always happens when I am around dust that is moved around.

What is new is that later on I took out my contact lenses and my right eye became extremely itchy. Since I was no longer wearing my contacts I rubbed my eye to stop the itching. After I did this,my eye began to become irritated, red, and a clear film seems to be forming over my eye.

I am curious if this is something that I should worry about.
Posted Sat, 29 Dec 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query

You are suffering from Allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis.

Allergic rhinitis is a common condition characterized by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated inflammation of the nasal mucosa following exposure to allergens. It is characterized by sneezing, nasal discharge and nasal congestion.

Similarly, allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the clear layer of tissue lining the eyelids and covering of the white of the eye (conjunctiva) become swollen or inflamed in response to allergic reaction following exposure to allergens.

The common triggerers of allergy (allergens) are the pollen, dust, fumes, coils smoke, etc. The bitter truth is, there is no cure for allergy, and only the preventive measures when followed can get rid of allergy.

Preventive measures such as avoiding the triggering allergens such as dust, smoke, strong perfumes and changing the pillow cover every night before going to bed can reduce the further attacks. Also, avoid sleeping directly under the fan or in front of the air conditioner.

My advice to you is:
1. To use steroid nasal spray (such as Fluticasone or Momentasone) and saline nasal spray to reduce the nasal congestion.
2. To drink plenty of warm water, it will keep the throat and nasal mucosa moistened and also reduces the irritation.
3. Antihistaminic such as cetrizine/levocetrizine/loratidine/fexofenadine has to be used once a day to reduce the allergic symptoms. And, eye drops such as Olopatadine and Ketotifen Fumarate is beneficial in reducing itching in the eyes.
4. Avoid chilled food and beverages.
5. Consult your doctor for a complete examination and further management.

With the above measures you should be definitely alright.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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