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Indoor allergy symptoms are similar to most other allergies, including:
Adding diagnostic testing to aid in a differential diagnosis has been shown to increase confidence in diagnosis to 90 percent.i,ii Conventionally, a diagnosis of allergic or autoimmune disease relies on the case history and a physical examination. However, adding diagnostic testing to aid in a differential diagnosis has been shown to increase confidence in diagnosis.i,ii Diagnostic testing can also help to improve the patient’s quality of life and productivity, reduce costs associated with absenteeism, and optimize use of medication, in addition to decreasing unscheduled healthcare visits.iii,iv
i. Duran-Tauleria E, Vignati G, Guedan MJ, et al. The utility of specific immunoglobulin E measurements in primary care. Allergy. 2004;59 (Suppl78):35-41.
ii. NiggemannB, Nilsson M, Friedrichs F. Paediatric allergy diagnosis in primary care is improved by in vitro allergen specific IgE testing. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008;19:325-331
iii. Welsh N, et al. The Benefits of Specific Immunoglobulin E Testing in the Primary Care Setting. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2006;46:627.
iv. Szeinbach SL, Williams B, Muntendam P, et al. Identification of allergic disease among users of antihistamines. J Manag Care Pharm. 2004; 10 (3): 234-238
Year-round, or perennial allergy, is caused by year-round exposure to indoor inhaled allergens (e.g., dust mites, cockroaches, rodents, pet dander). Healthcare providers are encouraged to devise a comprehensive, yet targeted, environmental remediation strategy limiting exposure to such allergens.
The treatment of year-round allergies includes the use of three different types of intervention:3,4
1. Allergen avoidance and environmental control measures
2. Pharmacological management
Practice parameters have been developed to classify and manage treatment of year-round allergies and guideline-directed management has been shown to improve disease control.3 Allergic rhinitis has also been found to be triggered by some year-round allergens.4
Across these practice parameters and guidelines, allergen avoidance is also a primary method of controlling comorbid conditions (e.g., asthma) that are initiated or exacerbated by exposure to indoor allergens.3
In the treatment of year-round allergies, the most effective control measures include patient education, use of HEPA filters, integrated pest management, thorough cleaning, and continuation of these practices.3