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    Getting to the root cause of ocular allergy

    Results can contribute to determining most appropriate treatment strategy

    Lake Villa, IL
    —Given the complexity of identifying the etiology of ocular allergy, an in-office diagnostic system (Doctor’s Allergy Formula Diagnostic System, Bausch + Lomb) allows ophthalmologists to perform skin tests for allergens at the point of care.

    The noninvasive test takes about 3 minutes to administer with results available about 15 minutes later. The test uses a panel of 60 allergens specific to the region in which the ophthalmologist practices.

    Allergies are a frequent contributor to ocular surface disease, which can affect treatment decisions in cataract, LASIK, and other ocular surgeries, said Mitchell A. Jackson, MD, founder and chief executive officer of Jaconsoneye, Lake Villa, IL.

    Related: What clinicians should know about ocular allergies

    Ocular surface disease is complex, and involves inflammation, osmolarity, environmental sources and multiple other risk factors, such asage, postmenopausal status, prior refractory surgery, autoimmune disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, computer vision syndrome, prior eyelid surgery, and contact lens wear.

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    “So are a number of common medications, including antihistamines, antimuscarinics, diuretics, beta blockers, and antidepressants,” Dr. Jackson said. “You have to evaluate all of these risk factors that can be strikes against the patient even before you evaluate them.”

    Allergies are one of the most common and most variable elements in ocular surface disease, Dr. Jackson continued. Allergies can be a contributing factor as well as comorbidity.

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    In addition to symptoms caused by allergies, treatment of allergic symptoms can exacerbate ocular surface disease. Antihistamines, for example, dry out the tear film.

    Finding answers

    Fred Gebhart
    The author is a correspondent for Urology Times, a sister publication.

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