Patients not seeing relief
The findings of this survey validate the view that despite the availability of medications for ocular allergy, including long-lasting OTC and prescription products—mast-cell stabilizers and antihistamines—many patients are not getting the results they hope for, said Paul Gomes, vice president, allergy, Ora.
“These medications work well against itch, but for people who have allergies year-round, they either work some of the time or not at all,” Gomes added. “There is still a need for therapies with different mechanisms of action that can actually stop allergy instead of just masking the number one symptom, which is itching.”
Courtesy of Ora
When asked about the important qualities in an eye drop, 47% of respondents wanted a drop that would work for both itching and redness, and 39% cited a drop that would treat itching quickly.
New treatment approaches that would prevent the degranulation of mast cells might bring more relief to patients, Gomes pointed out. “These would improve patients’ quality of life and give them greater satisfaction.”
He added that simply making products available OTC has not “solved” ocular allergy.
While allergy shots are effective for some people, there is room for improvement there too, Gomes said. “It takes a time commitment of having multiple shots throughout the year, and compliance is an issue.”
Only 12% of survey respondents had tried immunotherapy, although 67% said they would consider it.