Impact of Allergic Rhinitis, Rhinoconjunctivitis on Adolescents "Far-Reaching"

The most bothersome symptoms of AR were found to be rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes
The most bothersome symptoms of AR were found to be rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes

Results of a recent literature review highlighted the negative impact of both allergic rhinitis (AR) and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC) on adolescent patient lives.

To determine the impact and burden of AR and ARC on adolescent patients (10–19 years old), the researchers reviewed studies evaluating symptoms, quality of life (QOL), activities of daily living, sleep, performance on examinations, presence/absence at school, and treatment burden. MEDLINE, Embase, Health Technology Assessment Database, and National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database was used to gather the data. Non-interventional population-based studies written in English and indexed in the past 15 years were included.

A total of 27 articles were identified. Of these, 6 evaluated symptoms, 9 assessed QOL, 5 studied daily activities, 3 evaluated emotional aspects, 6 assessed sleep, 7 studied education, and 2 evaluated treatment burden. The most bothersome symptoms of AR were found to be rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes. Additionally, regardless of the QOL instrument used, adolescents with AR were found to have a decreased QOL compared to controls. 

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“Nasal symptoms and nasal obstruction were more likely to be associated with poor QOL in adolescents than in adults or younger children, respectively,” write the authors. Additionally, AR was found to negatively affect daily functioning, sleep, absenteeism, school productivity, as well as academic performance.

“Although AR and ARC are sometimes perceived as trivial conditions, this review indicates that their impact on adolescent life is negative and far-reaching,” conclude the authors, adding, “It is critical that clinicians gain a greater understanding of the unique burden of AR and ARC in adolescents to ensure they receive prompt and appropriate care and treatment in order to improve clinical and academic outcomes.”

Reference

Blaiss MS, Hammerby E, Robinson S, Kennedy-Martin T, Buchs S. The burden of allergic rhinitis and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis on adolescents: a literature review. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2018.03.028.