oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in athletes - mechanisms of impaired performance and implications for management

Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis are the most common clinical manifestations of allergic disorders in the athletic population, and are probably under-diagnosed and under-treated in athletes. While some of the manifestations of allergic rhinitis are not difficult to diagnose, the signs and symptoms in athletes can be quite subtle. The more subtle clinical presentation in athletes might include poor quality sleep, fatigue or reduced exercise performance; the mechanisms underlying these effects are explained. While the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis in the athlete is primarily made on the grounds of the history and physical examination alone, assessment of specific IgE through skin or laboratory tests is an important tool in the diagnosis and should be considered part of the periodic health assessment of the athlete. Prevention and management strategies should be used by the medical team working with elite athletes and are discussed; however care should be taken to consider the World Anti-Doping Agency Code when managing elite level athletes.

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