Treatment For Allergic Conjunctivitis in the Workplace

Treatment For Allergic Conjunctivitis in the Workplace

Treatment For Allergic Conjunctivitis in the Workplace

When an eye injury or disease happens due to the workplace, employees must notify their employer right away so they can get the medical attention they need. The eye is a very sensitive part of the human body, and it is necessary for us to perform daily activities. Whether it was one incident that led to eye injury symptoms, or the sudden development of an eye disease, workers must always put their health first and report their condition to the appropriate department or supervisor.

As a workers compensation attorney from a firm like Rispoli & Borneo can explain, your employer may have a workers compensation program set in place that enables you to get medical care for a workplace injury without paying out of your own pocket. You can request to see an eye doctor, who can perform an examination and recommend a treatment plan so that worsened damage and permanent eye loss is hopefully prevented. 

One of the more common injuries that isn’t often talked about, but very important to be aware of, is called allergic conjunctivitis. This condition can result in mild to severe symptoms that are not contagious to others, but should be taken care of sooner rather than later. Here we talk more about this eye condition and in what type of work environment it is most likely to arise: 

Food Industry Workers

Employees who work in the agricultural or food handling fields and are exposed to vegetables, fruits, or spices which cause them irritation can develop allergic conjunctivitis. Additionally, those who are basking in the sun’s ultraviolet radiation for their entire work shift are at an increased risk of this illness. The eyelids can get affected due to the allergic reaction, causing tissues to swell and hindering a person’s ability to fully open their eyes.

If you have the following symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, then it is strongly advised that you talk with your employer and consider meeting with eye doctor for care: 

  • Itching and burning sensation in both eyes and nearby tissues
  • Redness in both eyes
  • Watery discharge that may be accompanied by discomfort in bright sunlight 
  • The conjunctiva is swollen with a light purple hue, that impairs vision clarity

Treatment Options

There is hope for employees that are plagued by recurring allergic conjunctivitis in the workplace. Thankfully, there are a few treatment options for those diagnosed with this condition, including topical medications (eye drops), oral antihistamines, and allergy immunotherapy. For less severe cases, eye lubricants, rinsing with cool water, and cold compresses can reduce symptoms enough to be manageable. For those who have a really intense case of allergic conjunctivitis that prevents them from working and functioning overall, an eye doctor may suggest treating the condition through:

  • Oral Antihistamines: Antihistamine medications can reduce symptoms and help calm flair ups. However, they can dry the eyes, mouth, and nose, and cause fatigue. To find out whether oral antihistamines are right for you, it’s best to have an eye doctor perform an examination.
  • Allergen Immunotherapy: If the worker is enduring severe and persistent allergic conjunctivitis, then they may benefit from allergen immunotherapy treatment. However, in order to be effective, specific allergens must be identified that are causing the reaction.