Author Affiliation: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory disorder characterized by upper
airway symptoms, including nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and itching
of the palate, and, in some patients, by conjunctivitis, otitis media with
effusion, sinusitis, or asthma.1 The prevalence
of allergic rhinitis, a common disease that affects approximately 9% to 22%
of the US population,2,3 has increased
substantially in the past 20 years.4 Symptoms
of seasonal allergic rhinitis recur at times of the year corresponding to
the appearance of airborne allergens such as pollens and mold spores. Some
patients are symptomatic only during the pollen season while many others are
allergic to multiple allergens or have a nonallergic component to their rhinitis
so that they are symptomatic through much of the year.
Plaut M. Immune-Based, Targeted Therapy for Allergic Diseases. JAMA. 2001;286(23):3005-3006. doi:10.1001/jama.286.23.3005