Allergic rhinitis - practical management strategies.

BACKGROUND:

Allergic rhinitis is a common condition associated with significant effects on quality of life. Readily available treatments can improve outcomes in rhinitis as well as associated allergic diseases such as asthma. Yet allergic rhinitis remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.

OBJECTIVE:

This article outlines practical strategies and evidence based management of allergic rhinitis.

DISCUSSION:

Allergic and nonallergic rhinitis often co-exist. Thorough history of allergen exposure and its relationship to symptoms is vital for the ordering and interpretation of investigations and for management decisions. Some allergen avoidance measures may be ineffective and may cause an unnecessary burden. Demonstrated effective strategies are patient education, intranasal steroids and immunotherapy ('desensitisation'). General practitioners play a vital role in all three strategies, and in supporting patients and families to self manage what is often a chronic condition.

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