Background: Ocular symptoms remain widely neglected while they concern the majority of subjects with allergic rhinitis (AR) and impair their daily activities. We describe the characteristics of ocular symptoms in subjects suffering from AR in the French INSTANT study and their impact on daily activities. Methods: This cross-sectional observational survey was carried out in November 2006 using face-to-face interviews. Results: 31.7% of the population-based sample (n = 4,019) suffered from AR and 52.0% of AR subjects (n = 663) described ocular symptoms. Men had significantly less ocular symptoms than women (odds ratio 0.71, 95% CI 0.57–0.89). 57.5% of subjects suffered from ocular symptoms for >5 years, 30.2% for >6 months in the past 12 months, and 92.2% during the pollen season. The troublesome ocular symptoms were itching eyes (51.1%), watery eyes (38.6%), red eyes (6.6%) and swollen eyelids (3.6%). The trigger factors were pollens (51.3%), household dust and mites (34.8%), pets (12.2%) and air pollution (3.8%). Ocular symptoms had a negative impact on daily activities (blurred sight 47.8%, reduction in daily activities 38.8%, reduction in efficacy at work 25.8%, sleep disturbances 16.3%, and sick leave 12.9%). They were diagnosed in 38.9% of subjects and followed up in 34.8%. Treatment for ocular symptoms was prescribed to 35.4% of subjects and to 61.9% of subjects with a regular follow-up care. Conclusions: This survey confirms the impact of ocular symptoms on AR patients’ lives and suggests that they are still neglected and undertreated.

1.
Canonica GW, Bousquet J, Mullol J, Scadding GK, Virchow JC: A survey of the burden of allergic rhinitis in Europe. Allergy 2007;62(suppl 85):17–25.
2.
Klossek JM, Gohler C, Vervloet D, Deslandes B, Dufour X, Neukirch F: Epidémiologie des rhinites allergiques saisonnières printanières chez l’adulte en France. Presse Med 2005;34:348–352.
3.
Bousquet J, Scadding GK, Williams A: A survey of the burden of allergic rhinitis in France. Rev Fr Allergol Immunol Clin 2008;48:382–389.
4.
Bielory L: Allergic conjunctivitis and the impact of allergic rhinitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2010;10:122–134.
5.
Blaiss MS: Evolving paradigm in the management of allergic rhinitis-associated ocular symptoms: role of intranasal corticoids. Curr Med Res Opin 2008;24:821–836.
6.
Demoly P, Allaert F, Lecasble M, PRAGMA: ERASM, a pharmacoepidemiologic survey on management of intermittent allergic rhinitis in every day general medical practice in France. Allergy 2002;57:546–554.
7.
Bousquet J, Annesi-Maesano I, Carat F, Léger D, Rugina M, Pribil C, El Hasnaoui A, Chanal I: Characteristics of intermittent and persistent allergic rhinitis: DREAMS study group. Clin Exp Allergy 2005;35:728–732.
8.
Didier A: Characteristics and assessment of allergic rhinitis symptoms: results of the CESAR survey. Rev Fr Allergol Immunol Clin 2009;49:S65–S68.
9.
Mullol J: A survey of the burden of allergic rhinitis in Spain. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2009;19:27–34.
10.
Brémond-Gignac D: The clinical spectrum of ocular allergy. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2002;2:321–324.
11.
Bielory L: Ocular symptom reduction in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis treated with the intranasal corticosteroid mometasone furoate. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2008;100:272–279.
12.
Pitt AD, Smith AF, Lindsell L, Voon LW, Rose PW, Bron AJ: Economic and quality-of-life impact of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis in Oxfordshire. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2004;11:17–33.
13.
Smith AF, Pitt AD, Rodruiguez AE, Alio JL, Marti N, Teus M, Guillen S, Bataille L, Barnes JR: The economic and quality of life impact of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis in a Spanish setting. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2005;12:233–242.
14.
Stull DE, Schaefer M, Crespi S, Sandor DW: Relative strength of relationships of nasal congestion and ocular symptoms with sleep, mood and productivity. Curr Med Res Opin 2009;25:1785–1792.
15.
Klossek JM, Annesi-Maesano I, Pribil C, Didier A: INSTANT: national survey of allergic rhinitis in a French adult population-based sample. Presse Med 2009;38:1220–1229.
16.
Annesi-Maesano I, Didier A, Klossek M, Chanal I, Moreau D, Bousquet J: The score for allergic rhinitis (SFAR): a simple and valid assessment method in population studies. Allergy 2002;57:107–114.
17.
Didier A, Chanal I, Klossek JM, Mathieu J, Bousquet J: La rhinite allergique: le point de vue du patient. Rev Fr Allergol 1999;39:171–185.
18.
Demoly P, Bozonnat MC, Dacosta P, Daures JP: The diagnosis of asthma using a self-questionnaire in those suffering from allergic rhinitis: a pharmaco-epidemiological survey in everyday practice in France. Allergy 2006;61:699–704.
19.
Bonini S: Allergic conjunctivitis: the forgotten disease. Chem Immunol Allergy 2006;91:110–120.
20.
Demoly P, Concas V, Urbinelli R, Allaert FA: Evaluation of the influence of the WHO-ARIA allergic rhinitis guidelines in every day medical practice in France. ERNANI survey. Rev Fr Allergol 2006;46:626–632.
21.
Nathan RA: The burden of allergic rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Proc 2007;28:3–9.
22.
Szeinbach SL, Seoane-Vazquez EC, Beyer A, Williams PB: The impact of allergic rhinitis on work productivity. Prim Care Respir J 2007;16:98–105.
23.
Naclerio RM, Pinto J, deTineo M, Baroody FM: Elucidating the mechanism underlying the ocular symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Proc 2008;29:24–28.
24.
Origlieri C, Bielory L: Intranasal corticosteroids and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2008;8:450–456.
25.
Origlieri C, Bielory L: Intranasal corticoids: do they improve ocular allergy? Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2009;9:304–310.
26.
Keith PK, Scading GK: Are intranasal corticoids all equally consistent in managing ocular symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis? Curr Med Res Opin 2009;25:2021–2041.
27.
Bielory L: Comment on: are intranasal corticosteroids all equally consistent in managing ocular symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis? Curr Med Res Opin 2010;26:1139–1140.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.