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March 03, 2021 05:00pm
By Jill Murphy, Associate Editor
Rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis are 2 diseases often seen in adolescents. Although rhinitis is a common risk factor for asthma, less is known about rhinoconjuctivitis. A cross-sectional study published inAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Researchlooked at the risk factors of rhinitis compared with conjunctivitis, the impact on asthma, and the overall burden of rhinoconjunctivitis on adolescents and their quality of life.
The study was conducted between 2005 and 2006 on 2150 schoolchildren aged 10 to 17 years. The children completed a questionnaire assessing respiratory allergic symptoms and diseases. The investigators found that environmental factors such as exposure to mold/dampness or heavy traffic, parental history, and allergic sensitivities are all risk factors for rhinoconjunctivitis. In addition, the study results showed that rhinoconjuctivitis increases a patient’s risk for asthma compared with rhinitis (10.7% vs 5.1%, respectively). In addition, close to 50% of the patients with rhinitis reported their ocular symptoms to be moderately to extremely bothersome and 10% complained that the itchy/watery eyes were the most bothersome symptom.
In a typical clinical practice, the ocular aspect of rhinoconjuctivitis is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. The study authors concluded that it is important for physicians to assess these symptoms and risk factors as part of their everyday clinical practice in order to improve the quality of life for their patients and decrease the burden of the disease.