Non-allergic rhinitis is characterized by sporadic or persistent perennial nasal symptoms that do not result from IgE-mediated immunopathologic events. The symptoms can be similar to allergic rhinitis, but with a less prominent nasal itch and conjunctival irritation. Nasal and ocular symptoms were reported by 83% of patients, either currently or frequently, and 36.4% of patients reported that these symptoms were moderate or severe. More than half of the patients (59.1%) were using 2 or more medicines to manage their AR, and 73.7% of patients taking a nonsedating antihistamine plus an intranasal corticosteroid had moderate or severe disease. Most patients (83.1%) reported some impact from the symptoms of AR on daily activities. The mean (SD) mini RQLQ score was 2.4 in patients with mild disease, 2.6 in patients with moderate disease, and 3.3 in patients with severe disease.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis result from exposure to allergens in a susceptible (sensitized) individual. Allergens include pollen, grass, weed, and house-dust mite etc., and symptoms are triggered by the interaction of an allergen with immunoglobulin E (IgE) molecules which bind through the high affinity IgE receptor to the surface of mast cells in the nasal mucosa or to circulating basophils. Two prospective cohort studies demonstrate an increased likelihood of developing asthma over time in patients with allergic rhinitis, though no study was identified which addressed the question of whether treatment of allergic rhinitis can actually prevent the development of asthma. In addition, though the link between allergic rhinitis and rhinosinusitis is known, we identified no prospective studies on the outcomes of treated and untreated allergic rhinitis.