Allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma often occur concomitantly. According to a study conducted by French GPs, the frequency of AR in asthmatic patients was 55.2%. The frequency and severity of AR increased with the severity of asthma and AR was associated with worse asthma control.
In conclusion, AR was associated with more severe asthma, more difficulty to control asthma and substantial impairment of quality of life.
It makes sense to use immunotherapy to control symptoms of AR and hopefully have a positive impact on asthma symptoms as well.
The new asthma guidelines by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend immunotherapy for treatment of asthma for the first time since their inception (quote from page 195):
“The Expert Panel recommends that allergen immunotherapy be considered for patients who have persistent asthma if evidence is clear of a relationship between symptoms and exposure to an allergen to which the patient is sensitive (Evidence B).”
Severe asthma - differential diagnosis and management (click to enlarge the image).
Frequency and impact of allergic rhinitis in asthma patients in everyday general medical practice: a French observational cross-sectional study. Magnan A, Meunier JP, Saugnac C, Gasteau J, Neukirch F. Allergy. 2007 Nov 20.
Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR 3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Links between allergic rhinitis and asthma still reinforced. P. Demoly, P. J. Bousquet (2008). Allergy 63 (3), 251–254.
Poor asthma control? – then look up the nose. The importance of co-morbid rhinitis in patients with asthma http://goo.gl/0nNZg
Image source: Wikipedia, a Creative Commons license.