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A simple and rapid diagnostic algorithm for the detection of ocular allergic diseases

Mantelli, Flavio; Lambiase, Alessandro; Bonini, Stefano

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: October 2009 - Volume 9 - Issue 5 - p 471–476
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283303ea2
Eye allergy: Edited by Leonard Bielory and Stefano Bonini

Purpose of review The purpose of the present review is to describe currently available tools for the diagnosis of allergy with ocular involvement, and to define a simple and rapid diagnostic algorithm to facilitate identification of the various clinical types of ocular allergic diseases.

Recent findings Evidence indicates that all clinical forms of allergic conjunctivitis share several common features including signs, symptoms and biochemical allergy markers. Nevertheless, to date there are no standardized criteria available to general practitioners and allergists that would allow them to correctly and easily diagnose allergic conjunctivitis without the need for an ophthalmological referral.

Summary A red eye is a common presentation in all clinical practices, with conjunctivitis being its most common cause. Conjunctivitis can be infectious (bacterial and viral), toxic/irritative or allergic in origin. Other forms of conjunctivitis are related to systemic conditions, such as autoimmune diseases. In the present review, we present the most recent diagnostic criteria that are widely accepted for identifying different forms of allergic conjunctivitis, ultimately aiming to define common diagnostic guidelines for ocular allergic diseases.

Department of Ophthalmology, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Professor Stefano Bonini, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 21. 00128 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 06 225419185; fax: +39 06 22541456; e-mail:

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