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Rhinitis, not a condition to be trivialized, can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life and has a significant burden on the healthcare system.1 Symptoms like sleep disturbance and daily fatigue, along with inappropriate use of antihistamines, can result in impaired performance at school and work.2

Rhinitis is generally divided into two groups: allergic and non-allergic. It has been estimated that allergic rhinitis affects 400 million people globally,3 while non-allergic rhinitis is thought to affect more than 200 million people worldwide.2 There is evidence showing that those numbers are on the rise.3

Fortunately, specific IgE test results provide the much-needed information to providers looking to correctly diagnose and treat their patients, and to the patients looking for relief from this intrusive condition. These results, along with a physical exam and medical history, can help ensure that patients receive proper treatment sooner, as well as helping reduce ineffective antihistamine use.4


Making the distinction between allergic and non-allergic rhinitis5*

rhinitis stat

*Nearly 2/3 of patients prescribed antihistamines for their reported allergic rhinitis have symptoms that are not due to allergy.

Patient education is such a critical component, it is important that providers have as much specific information as possible about the allergens to which a patient is sensitized. This can help patients better understand what is causing the symptoms, what is happening inside the body, how the treatment approach was chosen, and how to achieve the best results from it. In fact, research has gone so far as to say that allergy education has the potential to improve a patient’s disease-specific quality of life.1


  1. Scadding GK, Durham SR, Mirakian R, et al. BSACI guidelines for the management of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy 2008;38:19-42.
  2. Bousquet J, Fokkens W, Burney P, et al. Important research questions in allergy and related diseases: nonallergic rhinitis: a GA2LEN paper. Allergy. 2008;63:842-853.
  3. Pawankar R, Holgate ST, Canonica GW, Lockey RF, Blaiss MS, eds. World Allergy Organization (WAO) White Book on Allergy. 2013. World Allergy Organization Website. http://www.worldallergy.org/UserFiles/file/WhiteBook2-2013-v8.pdf. Accessed November 2017.
  4. Quillen DM, Feller DB. Diagnosing rhinitis: allergic vs. nonallergic. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(9):1583-1590.
  5. Szeinbach SL, Williams B, Muntendam PJ, et al. Identification of allergic disease among users of antihistamines. Manag Care Pharm. 2004;10(3):234-23.8