oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Allergen sensitivities of patients with allergic rhinitis presenting to the ENT Clinic, Universitas Academic Hospital : review article

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Aim: The aim of the study was to review the presenting symptoms and allergen sensitivities of patients with allergic rhinitis presenting to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinic at Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Methods: The records of all patients with allergic rhinitis confirmed by skin-prick testing at the ENT clinic at Universitas Academic Hospital between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2005 were reviewed.Results: A total of 100 patients were identified. Their ages ranged between 4 and 71 years (median 25.5 years). There were 66 females and 34 males. Nasal obstruction was the most common symptom, being present in 80% of patients, followed by watery rhinorrhoea (58%), sneezing (40%), nasal itching (39%) and a postnasal drip (21%). Allergen sensitivities were: Bermuda grass (55%), maize pollen (56%), rye grass (37%), Alternaria alternata (mould) (25%), Platanus acerifolia (London plane tree) (25%), Dermatophygoides pteronyssinus (house-dust mite) (24%), dog epithelia (19%), cat epithelia (16%), Lepidoglyphus destructor (storage mite) (12%) and Olea europaea (olive tree) (15%). Bermuda grass sensitisation was significantly more common in patients living in urban areas compared with rural areas. Conclusions: Nasal obstruction is the most common presenting symptom of allergic rhinitis. Bermuda grass, maize pollen and rye grass are the most common sensitising allergens in the Free State.

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