Supplementary Material for: The Burden Associated with Ocular Symptoms in Allergic Rhinitis

Background: Ocular symptoms remain widely neglected while they concern the majority of subjects with allergic rhinitis (AR) and impair their daily activities. We describe the characteristics of ocular symptoms in subjects suffering from AR in the French INSTANT study and their impact on daily activities. Methods: This cross-sectional observational survey was carried out in November 2006 using face-to-face interviews. Results: 31.7% of the population-based sample (n = 4,019) suffered from AR and 52.0% of AR subjects (n = 663) described ocular symptoms. Men had significantly less ocular symptoms than women (odds ratio 0.71, 95% CI 0.57–0.89). 57.5% of subjects suffered from ocular symptoms for >5 years, 30.2% for >6 months in the past 12 months, and 92.2% during the pollen season. The troublesome ocular symptoms were itching eyes (51.1%), watery eyes (38.6%), red eyes (6.6%) and swollen eyelids (3.6%). The trigger factors were pollens (51.3%), household dust and mites (34.8%), pets (12.2%) and air pollution (3.8%). Ocular symptoms had a negative impact on daily activities (blurred sight 47.8%, reduction in daily activities 38.8%, reduction in efficacy at work 25.8%, sleep disturbances 16.3%, and sick leave 12.9%). They were diagnosed in 38.9% of subjects and followed up in 34.8%. Treatment for ocular symptoms was prescribed to 35.4% of subjects and to 61.9% of subjects with a regular follow-up care. Conclusions: This survey confirms the impact of ocular symptoms on AR patients’ lives and suggests that they are still neglected and undertreated.