Aim: To determine the differences between total and serum-specific immunoglobulin E levels in patients with type 1 allergic conjunctivitis and asymptomatic contact lens wearers. The correlation of total serum immunoglobulin E level of asymptomatic contact lens wearers with contact lens wearing time, and total duration of contact lens use was also evaluated.
Methods: This was a case-control study involving 25 asymptomatic contact lens wearers, 25 patients with type 1 allergic conjunctivitis, and 25 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Total serum immunoglobulin E levels were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum-specific IgE analysis against the listed indoor, food, and outdoor allergens were studied by immunofluorescence assay for participants whose total serum immunoglobulin E levels were >100 IU/mL. Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlations were used for bivariate analysis. Statistical significance was accepted at the 0.05 level.
Results: The mean level of total serum immunoglobulin E was greater for patients with type 1 allergic conjunctivitis than for contact lens wearers and controls. Serum-specific immunoglobulin E detected in patients with type 1 allergic conjunctivitis was against indoor, food, and outdoor allergens, while serum-specific immunoglobulin E detected in contact lens wearers was only against outdoor allergens. A statistically significant correlation was found for total serum immunoglobulin E levels of contact lens wearers with contact lens wearing time.
Conclusions: These results suggest that differences in serum total and specific immunoglobulin E levels exist between patients with type 1 allergic conjunctivitis and CL wearers and controls. Further research in a larger group of patients is needed to validate these findings.