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Allergic rhinitis in the primary care setting: patient practice reflective

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Background

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a multifaceted condition affecting up to 40% of the population. AR leads to nasal symptoms of congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and nasal itching. It is often associated with ocular symptoms of itching/burning, tearing/watering and redness. AR has a negative impact on patients’ quality of life (QoL) due to both nasal and ocular symptoms. Market research showed that Canadian physicians believe only 44% of their seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) patients suffer from ocular symptoms. The objective of the program was to better understand the symptom severity and impact on QoL of SAR patients in Canada.

Materials and methods

A national survey in SAR patients 12 years and older was conducted from March-June 2010. A total of 3564 questionnaires were completed. Patients were identified by their primary care physician and asked to complete a questionnaire consisting of 13 questions regarding their SAR. The program was self conducted and no patient names were provided.

Results

This national survey found that 77% of patients with SAR reported experiencing both ocular and nasal symptoms. Furthermore, 77% of patients reported sleep interference, 69% avoided typical daily activities and 29% missed work or school due to SAR symptoms. When asked about how well their allergy symptoms were controlled, 27% responded as mostly controlled and only 3% had full control.

Conclusions

Ocular symptoms are common in patients with SAR. Both Ocular and nasal symptoms have an impact on the QoL of AR sufferers. SAR patients have poorly controlled nasal and/or ocular symptoms.

Author information

Correspondence to Peter Small.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Keywords

  • Primary Care
  • Rhinitis
  • Primary Care Physician
  • National Survey
  • Allergic Rhinitis