Who diagnoses and treats nasal and ocular allergies in the US? Survey shows some surprises

Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is managed by a number of health care professional specialties, whose practice styles may vary. This study included telephone surveys of randomly selected patients and health care professionals in the United States in 2012 (2,700 patients and 500 practitioners in 7 specialties).

Adult respondents to the patient survey reported that their allergies had been diagnosed most often by:

- physicians in family practice (46%)
- allergists/immunologists (17%)
- otolaryngologists, ENT (11%).

Children's allergies had been diagnosed most often by pediatricians (41%) and family practitioners (22%).

Most respondents with conditions diagnosed by an allergist/immunologist (95%) or otolaryngologist (63%) had been given an allergy test, but the test was not given to most patients with conditions diagnosed by family practitioners (61%) or pediatricians (65%).

Most patients (76%) were treating their allergies with over-the-counter medications, and 53% were taking prescription medications.

Allergen immunotherapy was being used by 33% (adult) or 28% (child) patients of allergist/immunologists, 25% (adult) or 24% (child) patients of otolaryngologists, and 8% and 10% of patients of family practitioners and pediatricians, respectively.

Treatment Options for 
Allergic Rhinitis (AR) and 
Non-Allergic Rhinitis (NAR) in 6 Steps (click to enlarge the image).


Diagnosis and treatment of nasal and ocular allergies: the Allergies, Immunotherapy, and RhinoconjunctivitiS (AIRS) surveys. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Volume 112, Issue 4 , Pages 322-328.e1, April 2014.

Image source: Wikipedia, Creative Commons license.

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