An overview of allergic conjunctivitis
Allergic diseases affect many people across the globe. They significantly impact on the quality of life of the people who are affected, creating personal and economic predicaments. Some of the most commonly diagnosed allergic diseases include atopic dermatitis, rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and sinusitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic disease characterised by the inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by airborne allergens; it presents as itching, excessive lacrimation, discharge and pink eye. Usually it is associated with other allergic conditions such as allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma. Allergic conjunctivitis is further divided into acute, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC), and perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC). Other conditions, such as eosinophilic oesophagitis, are on the rise and are being diagnosed across all continents except Africa. The diagnosis is primarily clinical. Antihistamines have been the mainstay of therapy for most allergic conditions, except for other conditions that require corticosteroids, or in severe allergic conditions such as anaphylaxis where antihistamines are ineffective as main therapy. It is important to consider first- versus second-generation options when treating allergic diseases, also bearing in mind the duration of therapy and any comorbid conditions that a patient might have. This article provides an overview of these conditions and their current management options.