Indexed on: 06 Jul '14Published on: 06 Jul '14Published in: Allergy and asthma proceedings : the official journal of regional and state allergy societies
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common health problem in the United States, with significant comorbidities and impairment of quality of life despite the availability of many prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The health-care practitioners (HCPs) arm of the Current Allergic Rhinitis Experiences Survey (CARES) assessed HCPs' perceptions about the current management of AR. This U.S.-based national survey included 375 primary care physicians and 375 nurse practitioners/physician assistants. Participants were screened to ensure that they treat ≥15 AR sufferers per month during allergy season. The majority of HCPs (86%) agreed that AR patients can easily recognize allergy symptoms after diagnosis and that 57% of their patients come to them self-recognizing their symptoms. A total of 82% strongly agreed that AR sufferers are primarily diagnosed via history and physical and do not typically undergo diagnostic testing until after pharmacologic intervention. HCPs reported that 63-77% of AR sufferers can easily manage AR once treatment is established. According to surveyed HCPs, OTC medication should precede an Rx medication for AR management. A total of 82% HCPs considered intranasal steroids (INSs) to be the gold standard AR treatment and have minimal safety concerns about INS use. HCPs perceive that patients can easily recognize and self-manage their AR symptoms. Patient history/symptoms and physical examination are the primary methods of AR diagnosis. INSs are considered the gold standard for treatment of AR. However, most HCPs feel OTC medication should be tried before Rx medication for AR management.