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Upon completion of the chapter, the reader will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis (AR).

  2. Define mild versus moderate–severe AR, persistent versus episodic, and differentiate between seasonal, perennial, and episodic AR.

  3. Differentiate the categories of pharmacotherapy choices for treatment of AR based on mechanism, efficacy on symptom type (eg, ocular, nasal congestion), and side effect profile.

  4. Identify situations in which a referral to an allergy specialist is needed.

  5. Describe an approach for treatment and monitoring for treatment of mild and moderate–severe AR based on patient-specific factors.

  6. Identify the differences in approach to the treatment of AR for children, pregnant women, and the elderly compared with the routine approach in adults.


Rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose and contiguous parts of the upper respiratory tract. Allergy is only one of numerous causes of rhinitis. Signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis are noted in Table 65–1. Some patients suffer concurrently from both allergic rhinitis (AR) and one or more types of nonallergic rhinitis (NAR). This is sometimes called mixed rhinitis (MR). Because ocular symptoms (eg, itching and/or redness of eyes, tearing) frequently occur in association with AR, some sources use the term allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. This acknowledges involvement of the bulbar and palpebral conjunctivae in the allergic process.1-4

Table 65–1Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis of Allergic Rhinitis1-4

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