Dry Eye Syndrome and Allergic Conjunctivitis in the Pediatric Population
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Purpose: To assess the comorbidity of dry eye syndrome (DES) and changes in corneal curvature in children with allergies. Materials and Methods: This prospective, comparative, and observational interventional study included 49 patients, who presented to the Ophthalmology Clinic of a State Hospital in Turkey. There were 25 patients with clinically diagnosed seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (AC) (with complaints of itching and papilla formation of conjunctiva; AC group) and 24 healthy children (control group). There with no significant differences in age between groups. Using the ocular surface disease index (OSDI) questionnaire, we performed tear film break-up time (BUT), central reflex tear meniscus height (TMH-R) measurement, Schirmer test on both groups and evaluated keratometry (K1, K2) and spherical equivalent (SE). Results: Patients ranged in age from 6 to 18 years (median age, 11.79 years; 46.9% male; 53.1% female). The papillary reaction was severe in 10% of patients with AC. The prevalence of dry eye in children with AC was 12%. There was no statistically significant difference between groups for K1, K2, and SE (P > 0.05, all comparisons). BUT was statistically different (P = 0.004) between groups, indicating that a higher OSDI the tear film BUT was lower (rho = 0.567). Statistically, significant negative moderate correlations were found between papillary reaction and the Schirmer test, BUT, and TMH.R (rho = 0.454, -0.412, -0.419, and P = 0.001, 0.003, 0.002, respectively). Conclusions: The evaluation of pediatric patients with AC requires further attention to ensure an adequate diagnosis of DES.