Total tear IgE levels correlate with allergenic and irritating environmental exposures in individuals with dry eye

Harrison Dermer, Despoina Theotoka, Charity J. Lee, Priyanka Chhadva, Abigail S. Hackam, Anat Galor, Naresh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dry eye (DE) and allergic conjunctivitis may present similarly, and it remains unclear whether some individuals have an underlying allergic component to their DE. To better understand this relationship, we performed a cross-sectional study in 75 individuals with DE symptoms and/or signs. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels in tear samples were quantified and home environmental exposures assessed via standardized survey. Tears were collected by Schirmer strip, and total tear IgE levels were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and linear and logistic regressions. The main outcome measures were total tear IgE levels and their association with environmental exposures. The mean age of the subjects was 66.2 ± 7.8 years. Sixty-two individuals had dry eye symptoms (Dry Eye Questionnaire-5 ≥ 6), and 75 had one or more signs of DE. Detectable total tear IgE levels were observed in 76% of subjects, and 17.3% had high levels (>1 ng/mL). Individuals with exposure to pet(s) (odds ratio (OR) 11.5, p = 0.002) and smoke (OR 38.6, p = 0.008) at home were more likely to have high IgE levels compared to those not exposed. Individuals with tears collected during spring or summer were 3.9 times (p = 0.028) more likely to have high IgE compared to those sampled at other times of year. Subjects born in the US were 3.45 times (p = 0.010) more likely to have high IgE compared to individuals born outside the US. To conclude, a majority of individuals with DE symptoms and/or signs had detectable IgE levels in their tears. High tear IgE levels were correlated with allergy season and exposures in the home linked with allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1627
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Allergies
  • Environment
  • IgE
  • Pet dander
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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