Ajit Kumar Hazarika, Prodip Kumar Singh
Department of Ophthalmology, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Central Referral Hospital, Sikkim, India.
Background: Allergic conjunctivitis is commonly observed eye diseases in Sikkim, India due to the abundance of seasonal pollens, environmental pollutants, and house dust. We evaluated the efficacy of topical 0.03% tacrolimus eye ointment in the management of simple allergic conjunctivitis. Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was designed consisting of 41 patients with refractory simple allergic conjunctivitis, whose condition responded very poorly to conventional anti-allergic eye drops (azelastine, olopatadine, chlorpheniramine maleate, sodium chromoglycate). Simple allergic conjunctivitis cases were diagnosed and followed up evaluating both subjective and objective findings (itching, photophobia, tearing, chemosis, conjunctival congestion, tarsal papilla, and eyelid edema). Existing ocular treatment was discontinued at enrolment and 0.03% tacrolimus ointment was applied into the conjunctival sac of the affected eyes twice daily for 4 weeks followed by a 2 weeks washout period. Patients were followed up at the end of 1 st week, 4 th week, and at 7 th week (2 weeks washout period). Results: Symptoms of simple allergic conjunctivitis (itching, tearing and photophobia) were significantly reduced at the end of 1 st week. Signs such as conjunctival chemosis, congestion, tarsal papillae, and eyelid edema were effectively treated in all cases at the end of 1 st week. At the end of 4 th week, all cases were fully cured and none of the patient had any recurrences up to 7 th week. Mean score at 1 st day (9.6 ± 3.27) was significantly (P < 0.0001) reduced by 7 th day (1.35 ± 1.19) of treatment. Conclusion: Topical application of tacrolimus ointment is an excellent alternative to anti-allergic and steroids eye drops for the treatment of simple allergic conjunctivitis as it significantly reduces recurrences.
Keywords: Simple allergic conjunctivitis, tacrolimus, topical immunosuppressant.