Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis are IgE-mediated, hypersensitivity conditions characterized by ocular pruritus, epiphora, and hyperemia. Proper diagnosis is usually made clinically based on history and physical examination. Diagnostic procedures are rarely necessary. Non-pharmacological measures, such as environmental modification and proper eye care, should be considered for all patients with allergic conjunctivitis. Pharmacological interventions may also be required. Milder cases can be treated with short-term topical ophthalmic therapy such as a decongestant/ antihistamine combination, a mast cell stabilizer, or a multi-action agent. Moderate to severe cases may require longer usage of the above agents and/or the addition of an oral antihistamine. Refractory cases may necessitate the use of topical ophthalmic corticosteroids and topical NSAIDs. Immunotherapy, whether via the subcutaneous route or the intranasal route, should be considered in the treatment of persistent severe cases refractory to conventional treatment. Despite all the available therapeutic agents, there continues to be a constant need to discover more effective ways to treat seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis. This article also discusses recent patents related to the field.
Keywords: Allergic conjunctivitis, epiphora, hyperemia, immunotherapy, ocular pruritus, perennial, pharmacotherapy, seasonal.
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