With the increase in the incidence of allergies over the past years, health problems such as allergic rhinitis have become more frequent. This has had an impact on the frequency of patients suffering from allergic asthma.
For some ten years, it has been acknowledged that environmental allergies can affect the entire respiratory tract. This corresponds to a unified vision of the respiratory system in which allergic rhinitis and asthma are interlinked in their therapeutic approach, an approach put forward by a group of international experts, the ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impact on Asthma) initiative.
The recognition of the link between these two diseases now enables us to better diagnose and treat asthmatics who have an underlying allergic component to their disease. The large majority (80%) of these patients also present symptoms of rhinitis, which must be properly controlled to optimize the treatment of their concomitant asthma.
The various treatments for allergic rhinitis, such as antihistamines, cortisone-based nasal sprays as well as immunotherapy also deserve to be considered part of the treatment for allergic asthma to optimize its control.
Normand Dubé, MD, FRCPC
Allergist and Immunologist
The views expressed are solely those of the author based on his/her knowledge and expertise and do not necessarily represent the views of the manufacturer.
If you think you are experiencing allergy symptoms, please consult your healthcare professional for a definitive diagnosis.