This podcast highlights a clinical practice guideline on allergic rhinitis that is published as a February 2015 supplement to Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, the official journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Foundation. In the first of two podcasts for this supplement, Editor in chief John Krouse is joined by lead author Michael Seidman and co-author Sandra Lin in discussing key findings from the guideline in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is a common condition affecting both children and adults. It affects about 1 in 6 Americans and is responsible for $2 billion to $5 billion in direct healthcare expenditures annually. It is defined as an IgE-mediated inflammatory response of the nasal mucosa after exposure to inhaled antigens. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal itching, anterior or posterior nasal discharge, and nasal congestion. Allergic rhinitis can occur seasonally or can be present throughout the year. In the guideline, several key recommendations and options were offered. Clinicians should make a diagnosis of allergic rhinitis on the basis of history and physical examination, and utilize allergy testing when the diagnosis is uncertain or when patients do not respond to empiric therapy. Clinicians should not routinely perform imaging studies in patients whose symptoms correspond to a diagnosis of allergic rhinitis. In addition, clinicians should primarily use intranasal corticosteroid medications or oral antihistamines for the primary treatment of allergic rhinitis, rather than leukotriene receptor antagonists. The guidelines discuss additional recommendations and options for clinicians treating these patients with allergic rhinitis.