This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic, severe allergy that affects the surfaces of the eyes. It most commonly occurs in boys living in warm, dry climates. Attacks associated with VKC are common in the spring (hence the name “vernal”) and summer but often reoccur in the winter. Signs and symptoms usually begin before 10 years of age and may include hard, cobblestone-like bumps (papillae) on the upper eyelid; sensitivity to light; redness; sticky mucus discharge; and involuntary blinking or spasms of the eyelid (blepharospasm). The condition usually subsides at the onset of puberty. It is caused by a hypersensitivity (allergic reaction) to airborne-allergens. Management focuses on preventing “flare ups” and relieving the symptoms of the condition.
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