June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Ocular Allergy and Quality of Life: Patient Survey
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Emily Schoemmell
    Allergy, Ora, Inc, Adover, Massachusetts, United States
  • Kara Sicard
    Allergy, Ora, Inc, Adover, Massachusetts, United States
  • Rachel Smith
    Allergy, Ora, Inc, Adover, Massachusetts, United States
  • Yesha Raval
    Allergy, Ora, Inc, Adover, Massachusetts, United States
  • Paul J Gomes
    Allergy, Ora, Inc, Adover, Massachusetts, United States
  • David A Hollander
    Ora, Inc, Andover, Massachusetts, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Emily Schoemmell, Ora, Inc (E); Kara Sicard, Ora, Inc (E); Rachel Smith, Ora, Inc (E); Yesha Raval, Ora,Inc (E); Paul Gomes, Ora, Inc (E); David Hollander, Ora, Inc (E)
  • Footnotes
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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 5757. doi:
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      Emily Schoemmell, Kara Sicard, Rachel Smith, Yesha Raval, Paul J Gomes, David A Hollander; Ocular Allergy and Quality of Life: Patient Survey. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5757.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : We conducted a survey to assess the impact of ocular allergy on quality of life from a patient's perspective. Our goal was to compare our local population to national and global averages, and to identify potential emerging trends.

Methods : Subjects from an ocular allergy clinical trial database and agreed to participate in a clinical trial were asked to participate in this IRB-approved questionnaire.Sixty subjects completed questionnaires and were included in the survey analysis. Subjects provided information on their disease characteristics, their treatment strategies, and their satisfaction with their current therapeutic regimes.

Results : The mean age of respondents was 45.7 years (52% male). The overwhelming majority (95%) reported experiencing nasal as well as ocular allergy symptoms, while smaller percentages (18-46%) stated that they also suffered from food allergies, skin allergies, or asthma. Approximately 1 in 5 reported some type of allergy to medication. As a group, the respondents reflect recent national trends: 46% experience allergic symptoms year-round, while 62% experience seasonal allergic disease. The second-most reported complaint (after ocular itching) among all patients was excessive tearing or watery eyes, not ocular redness. A high percentage of patients (61%) reported not seeking treatments for their allergies, less than half of those who do seek treatments use prescription eyedrops as a treatment. While a majority had reported that they tried over the counter medications two-thirds stated that these products were effective “some or none of the time”. Subjects reported preferring a treatment that could relieve both itch and redness, and half of all respondents reported also experiencing some degree of dry eye.

Conclusions : This survey confirms that our study population accurately reflects national and global trends regarding incidence of perennial and seasonal allergic disease1, and highlights the need for improved treatments for those with year-round allergy. We find that an overwhelming majority of patients experience both ocular and nasal symptoms, and many suffer with additional allergic symptoms. The survey results highlight the importance of encouraging patients to take advantage of existing therapeutic options that are likely to improve their quality of life.
1.Rosario N. Epidemiology of allergic conjunctivitis. Curr.Opin. Allergy Clin. Immun. 2011; 11:471–476.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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