Vernal conjunctivitis is long-term (chronic) swelling (inflammation) of the outer lining of the eyes due to an allergic reaction.
Vernal conjunctivitis often occurs in people with a strong family history of allergies, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema. It is most common in young males, and most often occurs during the spring and summer.
The health care provider will perform an eye exam.
Avoid rubbing the eyes, because this can irritate them more.
Cold compresses (a clean cloth soaked in cold water and then placed over the closed eyes) may be soothing.
Lubricating drops may also help soothe the eye.
If home-care measures do not help, you may need to be treated by your health care provider. This may include:
The condition continues over time (is chronic). It gets worse during certain seasons of the year, usually spring and summer. Treatment may provide relief.
Call your health care provider if your symptoms continue or get worse.
Using air conditioning or moving to a cooler climate may help prevent the problem from getting worse in the future.
Rubenstein JB, Virasch V. Allergic conjunctivitis. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 4.7.
Barney NP, Graziano FM, Cook EB, Stahl JL. Allergic and immunologic diseases of the eye. In: Adkinson NF, Jr., ed. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 64.
Hernandez-Trujillo V, Mitchell G, Lieberman P. Allergy. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 20.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2014, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.