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October 1940


Arch Ophthalmol. 1940;24(4):803-823. doi:10.1001/archopht.1940.00870040189022

Allergy, as it is understood today, may involve a variety of tissues throughout the organism. Nearly all the tissues of the eye are susceptible to allergic manifestations. Unlike other pathologic conditions which leave definite structural changes to be studied post mortem, the changes in allergic conditions are transient and reversible. A great percentage of patients who present ocular allergic manifestations also present extraocular manifestations. An allergic state may color the symptoms of a nonallergic disease.

The eye participates in the general hypersensitivity of the organism, and the ocular lesion is but a single expression of the peculiar body reaction. In order to understand better the variety of ophthalmologic conditions which have an allergic basis, it is not amiss to survey the allergic state before bringing these to the attention of the ophthalmologist.

Thirty-seven years ago, von Pirquet and Schick1 introduced to the medical world the term "allergy," which they

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