oa Professional Nursing Today - Allergic rhinitis and pregnancy - a review of the literature, with recommendations for management : midwifery



  • The concurrence of allergic rhinitis and pregnancy is common.
  • The diagnosis of allergic rhinitis is easily and reliably made, by eliciting the characteristic symptoms on history.
  • This diagnosis is easily confirmed by using the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests.
  • Nasal symptoms, particularly obstruction, are often aggravated in pregnancy, through several possible mechanisms.
  • Untreated allergic rhinitis and nasal obstruction affect the quality of life and can impact on the lower airways particularly in the presence of asthma, and indeed on the pregnancy itself.
  • The effective management of allergic rhinitis in pregnancy is thus important and can be undertaken in complete safety, and the pregnant patient should not be made to suffer the symptoms.
  • Management should be tailored to the needs of the patient, and should be the minimum needed to control the condition. It can include : allergen avoidance; simple non-specific measures; local corticosteroid nasal sprays; oral antihistamines and immunotherapy.
  • At present there is no intervention in pregnancy that has been shown to reduce the incidence of atopy in offspring.


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