Treating allergic rhinitis can improve other related conditions such as asthma and sinusitis.

Professor Ruby Pawankar of the Nippon Medical School,Tokyo, speaking at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), claimed that allergic rhinitis often co-exists with other disorders and should be seen as a systemic allergic condition which can affect patients at school and work. Many patients also have sleep disorders (57% of adults and 88% of children, one study found) , emotional problems and decreased cognitive functioning both at work and in social situations.

Current estimates suggest that more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergic rhinitis, 70% of whom suffer from sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose and watery eyes. It is the most prevalent chronic condition in patients under age 18. Up to 23% of these patients
‘are extremely bothered by the streaming eyes’.

Dr Pawankar also said that allergic rhinitis can increase the risk of asthma three-fold, and, when rhinitis began in the first year of life, the development of asthma by age of six was twice as likely as when it developed when the child was over a year old.

Patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma had an increased risk of Emergency Department visits and hospitalisation for asthma and treating allergic rhinitis in asthma patients had resulted in 61% fewer hospitalisations.

In a study comparing the prevalence of sinusitis in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) with those who did not, 67.5% of the patients with PAR were found to have sinusitis while only 33/4% of those who didn’t suffered from the condition.

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First Treated in November 2009

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