Research: BIELORY and HEIMALL,

Listed in Issue 99

Abstract

BIELORY and HEIMALL, Department of Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA, bielory@umdnj.edu, have reviewed the treatment of eye allergies with complementary and alternative medicine.

Background

Ocular allergy is a common complaint of allergy sufferers and is often treated, by patients' choice, with complementary and alternative medicine.

Methodology

Herbal therapies, acupuncture, homeopathy, alternative immunotherapy and behavioural therapies were assessed for evidence of their effectiveness in the treatment of ocular allergy symptoms.

Results

Certain herbs including Euphrasia officinalis, Petasites hybridus, and Argemone mexicana, have been evaluated in controlled studies. Honey is no more effective than a placebo treatment. Acupuncture used regularly has demonstrated some positive trends in ocular allergy sufferers. Homeopathy has yielded conflicting results, whilst immunotherapies have been shown to develop tolerance effects in ocular allergy.

Conclusion

Several forms of complementary and alternative medicine have been studied in the treatment of ocular allergies. More research is needed into mechanisms of action and in order to establish practice guidelines.

References

Bielory L, Heimall J. Review of complementary and alternative medicine in treatment of ocular allergies. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 3 (5): 395-399, Oct 2003.

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