THE EYE may be the target of allergic inflammation in a variety of systemic immunologic conditions. Ocular signs and symptoms can often be the most striking and disabling aspects of such diseases. The eye is also affected by several local conditions in which immunologic mechanisms are thought to play a significant role. Major structures of the eye are illustrated in Fig 12-1. Immunologically mediated diseases of the skin and mucous membranes, the cornea, and the uveal tract and retina are discussed in the following sections.
DISEASES OF THE SKIN AND MUCOUS MEMBRANES OF THE EYE
Contact sensitivity is a common condition seen in the practice of ophthalmology. Several commonly used topical ophthalmic preparations are offenders. The patient may experience itching, tearing, and sensitivity to light. The eyelids are at first erythematous and indurated but, with long-term exposure to the agent, scaling and lichenification occur (Fig 12-2). In general,
Reed CE, Friedlaender M. Immunologic Aspects of Diseases of the Eye. JAMA. 1982;248(20):2692–2695. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330200116021
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