Purpose of review: Ocular allergy is a common complaint of allergy sufferers, many of whom may choose to use complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of these symptoms. In this review major complementary and alternative medicine modalities including herbal therapies, acupuncture, homeopathy, alternative immunotherapy and behavior modification are assessed for evidence of their effectiveness in the treatment of ocular allergy symptoms.
Recent findings: Certain herbs including Euphrasia officinalis, Petasites hybridus and Argemone mexicana have been evaluated in control studies in the treatment of ocular allergy. Honey is no more effective than placebo in the treatment of ocular allergy. Acupuncture used regularly has demonstrated some positive trends in ocular allergy sufferers. Homeopathy has shown conflicting results in the treatment of ocular allergy, while alternative forms of immunotherapy have been shown to develop immunologic tolerogenic effects in the control of the condition.
Summary: Several forms of complementary and alternative medicine have been studied for their effectiveness in treatment of ocular allergy symptoms. Further research is needed to assess mechanisms of action and to establish practice guidelines for the use of these modalities