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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-33

Prevalence and causative agents of allergic conjunctivitis and its determinants in adult citizens of Western Saudi Arabia: A survey

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University; Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ashjan Yousef Bamahfouz
Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al.Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia- Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ojo.OJO_31_2019

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PURPOSE: To estimate the prevalence of allergic conjunctivitis (AC) and its related allergic ailments among Saudi adults in the western region. METHODS: Adult population of Taif, Makkah, and Jeddah cities was surveyed from 2017 to June 2018. Subjective questionnaire was used to collect the response. Participants were asked about symptoms (redness, itching, watering, based diagnosis and details of AC, treatment taken in the pasts, and associated conditions, such as allergic asthma and rhinitis). The age-sex-adjusted prevalence, its determinants, and associations to other ailments were assessed. RESULTS: We surveyed 2187 participants (mean age 26.0 ± 9.1 years). The age-sex-adjusted prevalence of AC was 70.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 68.6–72.4). There could be 2.1 million AC patients among 3.1 million adult populations in Western KSA. It was significantly higher in females compared to males (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7 [95% CI 1.4–2.2]). The risk of AC did not vary by age group (χ2 = 2.5, df = 3, P = 0.1). The variation of AC in three provinces was not significant (χ2 = 0.3, df = 3, P = 0.6). Dust (42.6%) and unknown (24.8%) allergens were the main causative agents of AC. AC was significantly associated to asthma (OR = 2.8) and allergic rhinitis (OR = 2.2). CONCLUSION: AC affects seven in ten adults in Western Saudi Arabia. AC is positively associated to allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma. Public health policies at primary eye-care level should focus on early detection and care of persons with AC.

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