Allergic Rhinitis (AR) is an inflammation in the nose caused by an overreaction of the immune response to allergens. Traditionally, allergic rhinitis has been classed as seasonal (pollen and grass), perennial (dust mites) or occupational (chemicals).
More recently, the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines have focused on classification based on duration (intermittent versus persistent) and severity (mild versus moderate/severe).
Symptoms, such as rhinorrhoea, sneezing, nasal obstruction and red, watery or itchy eyes form the basis of a simple questionnaire that can be used to identify patients with allergic rhinitis. The diagnosis of allergic rhinitis is additionally based on the history of allergic symptoms and diagnostic tests including skin tests, serum-total and serum-specific IgE tests, and testing for asthma following the ARIA guidelines.
Although Allergic Rhinitis treatment is based mainly around the avoidance of allergens, this can prove difficult in environments where exposure to allergens cannot be controlled. Treatment options include antihistamines, corticosteroids, anticholinergics, leukotriene receptor antagonists, cromones and their combinations.
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