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Diagnosis and management of allergic conjunctivitis in pediatric patients

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Allergic conjunctivitis (AC), although one of the most common ocular disorders in pediatric patients, is frequently overlooked, misdiagnosed, and undertreated in children.


To guide pediatric health care professionals in the optimal diagnosis and management of AC in pediatric patients.


To identify any existing best practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of AC in pediatric patients, a review of the literature published between 2004 and January 2015 was conducted. Diagnosis and treatment algorithms and guidelines for pediatric patient referrals were then developed.


A literature search to identify best practice guidelines for the treatment of AC in pediatric patients failed to return any relevant articles, which highlighted the need for best practice recommendations. Based on publications on adult AC and clinical experience, this review provides step-by-step guidance for pediatric health care professionals, including recognizing clinical features of AC, establishing a comprehensive medical history, and performing a thorough physical examination to ensure a correct diagnosis and the optimal treatment or referral to an eye care specialist or allergist when required. In addition to established drug treatments, the role of subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy is discussed to inform pediatric health care professionals about alternative treatment options for patients who do not tolerate pharmacotherapy or who do not respond sufficiently.


The diagnostic and treatment algorithms and guidelines provided in this review help address the current literature and educational gap and may lead to improvements in diagnosis and management of pediatric AC.
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Keywords: Allergic; allergy; children; conjunctivitis; diagnosis; guideline; immunotherapy; ocular; pediatric; treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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