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Practice Gaps
May 16, 2011

Screening for Ocular Complications in Atopic Dermatitis: Comment on “Cataracts in Atopic Dermatitis”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Hasbro Children's Hospital and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(5):588-589. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.102

Many dermatologists are aware of some association between the use of systemic or periocular topical corticosteroids (CSs) and glaucoma and cataracts. However, few are aware of the occurrence of atopic dermatitis (AD) and cataracts unrelated to treatment. Regular ophthalmological examination is not part of the routine dermatologic care of chronic AD for most patients. This practice gap reflects several factors. First, there are not good data on the prevalence of these complications. Second, most cataracts and glaucoma cases are asymptomatic and cannot be readily detected by dermatologists. Third, few dermatologists proactively inquire about visual complaints in their review of systems. And fourth, most dermatologists do not regularly interface with ophthalmologists in the care of their patients with AD, nor are they familiar with the ophthalmology literature.