This presentation will provide an overview of ocular allergy, it's classification,
subtypes, it's importance as a common allergic disorder,
and some management strategies.
My name is Connie Katelaris,
and I'm Professor of Immunology & Allergy at Western Sydney University,
and head of unit at Campbelltown Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
The term ocular allergy is used interchangeably with allergic conjunctivitis,
since this condition involves
an inflammatory reaction predominantly occurring in the conjunctiva.
We recognize four subtypes of ocular allergy, two of them,
far more common and more simple in their pathogenesis.
They are seasonal allergic conjunctivitis or SAC,
perennial allergic conjunctivitis or PAC,
and then there are the two complex allergic ocular disorders,
vernal keratoconjunctivitis, VKC, and atopic keratoconjunctivitis, AKC.
Allergic eye disease represents one of
the most common ocular conditions encountered by primary care providers,
particularly as the global prevalence of atopy continues to increase.
Allergic eye disease contributes to the national economic burden,
together with its associated atopic comorbidities including allergic rhinitis,
atopic dermatitis, asthma, food allergy, and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Allergic rhinitis produces a severe impact on patients' quality of life.
The majority of sufferers will also have ocular symptoms,
hence, the more correct term, of allergic rhino-conjunctivitis.
Most allergy sufferers report nasal congestion and itchy eyes,
as well as stating that symptoms make them tired and irritable.
Ocular symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis are recognized as
imposing one of the greatest burdens of disease health-related quality of life,
and certainly has an economic impact for both the patient and for the health systems.