Allergic diseases have greatly increased in industrialized countries. About 30 percent of people suffer from allergic symptoms, and from 40 to 80 percent of these have ocular symptoms.1 We all prescribe topical medicines for our patients with ocular allergies; their use has become almost second nature. These medications do a truly remarkable job of helping our patients who suffer from seasonal or perennial ocular allergies. I like to temper these pharmacologic recommendations with some common sense ideas that will complement the pharmacological treatment and greatly alleviate the patient’s symptomatology.
Andrew M. Brown, MD, is an allergist and immunologist with 47 years of experience and practices in otolaryngology, allergy, and immunology, and has been in practice in Gadsden, AL for the last 40 years. He graciously took time from his extremely busy practice, the largest allergy practice in the area, to talk with me. I started with the question: What would you like to tell an in-the-trenches optometrist about allergy?
Ocular allergy is one of the most common ocular surface diseases seen in a primary eyecare practice. Allergic conjunctivitis (AC) often exists concurrently with rhinitis and asthma, and patients with allergic rhinitis frequently present with symptoms of AC. AC is often linked to allergic rhinitis and requires co-treatment.
This issue is our annual allergy issue. I’ve often joked that in the spring, a young man’s thoughts turns to love, while an old optometrist’s thoughts turns to ocular allergy. Treating our patients who present with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a large part of a primary-care optometric practice, especially this time of year.
CooperVision’s app helps your patients stay in contact lens wear during allergy season.
Get ready for patients to present with allergy complaints due to this year's severe spring allergy season.