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Open Access Highly Accessed Original research

Allergic conjunctivitis and the most common allergens in Northern Greece

Diamantis Almaliotis23*, Pavlos Michailopoulos2, Dimitrios Gioulekas1, Paschalina Giouleka1, Despina Papakosta1, Thomas Siempis2 and Vasileios Karampatakis2

Author Affiliations

1 Pulmonary Department of the Aristotle, University of Thessaloniki, G. Papanikolaou Hospital, Eksohi, Chortiatis, Thessaloniki 57010, Greece

2 Laboratory of Experimental Opthalmology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece

3 Ophthalmolgy Department of G. Papanikolaou Hospital, Eksohi, Chortiatis, Thessaloniki 57010, Greece

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World Allergy Organization Journal 2013, 6:12  doi:10.1186/1939-4551-6-12

Published: 16 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Ocular allergies affect a great part of the general population and often co exist with other allergic manifestations. In the present study, the prevalence of allergic conjunctivitis and the commonest allergens in allergic patients at an outpatient unit in Thessaloniki, Greece were evaluated.

Methods

This is a retrospective study regarding allergic patients who referred to an outpatient clinic between the 1st of January of 1996 and the 31st of December 2010. They completed relative questionnaires concerning their allergic condition. The patients who were included in our study had allergic conjunctivitis confirmed by ophthalmologists and were divided into 4 groups. The criteria used were the existence of allergic conjunctivitis alone or with other allergic co- morbidities. The patients then underwent skin prick tests after consent according to current guidelines.

Results

The archives of 1239 allergic patients were evaluated and 497 patients (40,11%) who manifested eye allergic symptoms were included in our study. 448 patients (90.14%) had allergic conjunctivitis in conjunction with asthma or rhinitis or both. 370 patients underwent skin prick tests and 284 of them (124 males-160 females) were positive for at least 1 of the 8 tested allergens (76.75%). 166 were positive to a grass mix (58.45%), 130 to olea European (45.77%), 124 to dust mites mix (43.66%), 58 to cypress (20.42%), 71 to parietaria officinalis (25.00%), 67 to cat dander (23.59%), 35 to dog dander (12.32%) and 32 to Altenaria (11.26%).

Conclusions

Symptoms of ocular allergy are very common in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. Men had slightly higher percentages of positive skin prick tests, except for dog dander and Altenaria. Conjunctivitis should not be overlooked as an allergic entity when evaluating allergic patients.

Keywords:
Allergens; Prevalence; Sensitization; Allergic conjunctivitis; Allergic rhinitis; Asthma; Skin prick tests