oa Professional Nursing Today - Allergic rhinitis in the community : a clinical approach : clinical



Rhinitis can be classified as allergic or non-allergic. In the case of allergic rhinitis (AR), the inflammatory process occurs in atopic individuals, secondary to exposure to an allergen. Atopy is the inherited predisposition to production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in response to allergen exposure. AR can also be further subclassified according to duration of symptoms (seasonal vs. perennial), as well as severity, as demonstrated by the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines (Figure 1). AR is a common condition which affects a large segment of the population. In a study on the prevalence of AR in South African 13- to 14-old children in Cape Town, this was found to be 10%.


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