Background: Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a common, chronic, bilateral, recurrent, allergic, inflammatory disease of the ocular surface primarily affecting young males in dry, hot climates such as India.
Objectives: To compare the efficacy, tolerability and safety of 0.03% tacrolimus eye ointment and 0.05% cyclosporin eye drops in the treatment of vernal keratoconjunctivitis.
Methods: A prospective study of 72 patients conducted from December 2017 to February 2021. After having established a diagnosis of VKC and fulfilling inclusion and exclusion criteria, participants were divided into two groups. Group 1 was put on cyclosporin eye drops and group 2 was put on tacrolimus eye ointment. Detailed history and evaluation for symptoms, signs, visual acuity and IOP was done on first visit and subsequently after 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 24 weeks.
Results: 72 patients were diagnosed to have VKC, of whom males were 86% and females 13.9%, all belonging to the age group 5 to 14 years and were divided into two groups. Both the groups showed significant reduction in the symptoms and signs with no significant difference in efficacy between the groups and they maintained normal IOP and visual acuity at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 24 weeks.
Conclusion: Both the immunomodulators were equally successful in resolving the signs and symptoms of VKC, tolerable with no significant adverse effects and proved to be a safer alternative to steroids as they caused no elevation of intraocular pressure or any complications associated with the use of steroids.