Epidemiology

Conjunctivitis commonly affects males and females of all ages.[1] It is usually treated by general practitioners and is estimated to account for almost 1% of all primary care consultations.[2] In England there are 13-14 cases in 1000 people per year.[3][4] The incidence rate appears to be higher in children aged <1 year old (80 cases in 1000 patient-years) than in children aged >4 years (12 cases in 1000 patient-years).[5] Up to 1.3% of the US population has been reported to have the condition.[6] In the US, 3% of all accident and emergency department visits are ocular related, with 30% of these due to conjunctivitis. Two percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for eye conditions, with 54% of these being either conjunctivitis or corneal abrasion.[7] Similarly, seasonal conjunctivitis represents more than 90% of cases of allergic conjunctivitis.[8][9][10][11][12] An online survey in 2015 in the US found that the majority of patients with seasonal conjunctivitis report moderate to severe symptoms that significantly impair their quality of life.[13] Perennial conjunctivitis is less common, but 80% of these patients have seasonal flares.[8] Atopic allergic conjunctivitis disease is more common in adults, and vernal allergic conjunctivitis (a more severe, chronic form of allergic conjunctivitis) is more common in boys. Atopic and vernal conjunctivitis together represent 2% of ocular allergic disease; atopic dermatitis occurs in 3% of the population, and 25% of these have ocular involvement.[9][10][11][12]

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