Ocular Allergy as a Risk Factor for Dry Eye in Adults and Children

Edoardo Villani; Giovanni Rabbiolo; Paolo Nucci


Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018;18(5):398-403. 

In This Article

Ocular Allergy in Adults and Children

Ocular allergy is a collection of ocular surface disorders, classically classified in two groups: common allergic conjunctivitis, including seasonal and perennial forms (SAC and PAC), and rarer kerato-conjunctivitis, including vernal and atopic forms (VKC and AKC).

SAC and PAC are mild-to-moderate allergic disease, often associated with rhinitis, involving an Ig-E-mediated hypersensitivity response.

VKC and AKC are severe chronic inflammatory diseases of the ocular surface with a more complex pathogenesis that includes a T-helper-mediated response.

Ocular itching, swelling, and tearing are the most frequent symptoms complained by patients with all forms of ocular allergy, whereas photophobia and pain are typical of the most severe forms, due to the frequent (up to 70% of patients) corneal involvement, ranging from superficial punctate keratitis to ulcers and plaques.[3,8]

The different types of ocular allergy have different ages of onset and characteristic age-related evolutions. SAC and PAC onset is usually during adolescence and young adulthood (80% of patients are younger than 30 years old), VKC is a paediatric disease, usually subsiding after puberty, whereas AKC symptoms may appear during childhood but the most frequent onset age ranges from 30 to 50 years old.[3,5]