Quality of life is significantly impaired in nonallergic rhinitis patients.
In contrast to the well-known significant impairment of quality of life (QoL) in allergic rhinitis (AR), the degree of impairment in QoL in nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) remained unknown for a long time, due to a lack of a validated questionnaire to assess QoL in the NAR patient group. In this study, a validation of the mini-RQLQ questionnaire in NAR patients was performed, followed by an assessment of QoL in NAR patients compared to AR and healthy controls. Secondly, use of medication and treatment satisfaction in AR and NAR was assessed.
The study was an observational cohort study in 287 AR and 160 NAR patients. Patients with symptoms of rhinitis were recruited from a tertiary care outpatient clinic of the Otorhinolaryngology Department. Allergic rhinitis (AR) was defined as one or more positive results on skin prick testing and clinically relevant symptoms of rhinitis related to their sensitization. Nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) was defined as clinically relevant symptoms of rhinitis but without positive results on skin prick testing. The mini-RQLQ was successfully validated in this study for NAR patients.
Quality of life (QoL) in NAR patients was equally-and for some aspects even more-impaired compared to AR. More than half of both AR and NAR patients were unsatisfied with treatment.
These results demonstrate a significant impairment in both AR and NAR patients in their QoL combined with a low treatment satisfaction, emphasizing the need for adequate treatment, especially in the NAR patient group.