Cochrane Review: Sublingual immunotherapy for treating allergic conjunctivitis

Department of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital, Imperial College School of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, London, UK, SW3 6LY.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 07/2011; 7(7):CD007685. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007685.pub2
Source: PubMed


Conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin 'skin' that covers the white part of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids. Allergic conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva due to allergy. The most common cause is an allergy to pollen during the hay fever season. Symptoms include red eyes, itching, increased tearing and swelling of the conjunctiva and eyelids. If allergic conjunctivitis is combined with nasal allergy, the condition is termed allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. When medications do not provide enough relief another option is immunotherapy, which builds immunity to the allergen causing the reaction. Immunotherapy can be given under the tongue, nasally or by injection. This review included 42 trials with a total of 3958 participants with allergic conjunctivitis; 2011 who had sublingual immunotherapy and 1947 who had placebo. This review found that sublingual immunotherapy (that is, administered under the tongue) can reduce symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

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