New therapies needed for allergy symptoms, quality of life

Take-home: Half of patients with ocular allergies report experiencing symptoms year-round. While nearly all of them take eye drops to treat their symptoms, the majority report limited or no effect from over-the-counter drops, according to a new survey. The results suggest that new treatment approaches would improve both symptoms and quality of life.

An updated survey on the impact of ocular allergy, which includes questions about quality of life and the clinical aspects of allergic conjunctivitis, points to the need for new and better therapy.

The vast majority of the nearly 200 patients, all of whom were selected from an ocular allergy clinical trial database, said their treatment either worked only part time or not at all. Many respondents said they had not seen a healthcare professional for help with their condition.

“Surprisingly, out of all the respondents that filled out the survey, about 67% had never seen an ophthalmologist or sought medical attention to treat their symptoms,” said Emily Schoemmell, manager, allergy, at Ora Inc., Andover, MA, which conducted the survey. “We found that out of the people who have used over-the-counter (OTC) drops, there’s still an unmet need. About 90% of the respondents feel that their OTC drops either work some of the time or none of the time.”

Over half (51%) of respondents reported ocular allergy symptoms year-round. The majority of respondents (85%) used treatment, with 53% using both eye drops and systemic medication and about 25% using only one or the other.

Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents had used OTC eye drops to treat their allergic conjunctivitis. Among the third of individuals who had seen an eye doctor, 53% had used prescription eye drops.


Patients not seeing relief

The findings of this survey validate the view that despite the availability of medications for ocular allergy, including long-lasting OTC and prescription…

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