Peer Reviewed
Feature Article Immunology and allergy
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Hay fever – an underappreciated and chronic disease

Janet Rimmer, Janet Davies

Allergic rhinitis continues to be a significant chronic disease that affects younger, usually healthier people, with considerable impacts on school performance and work productivity. Symptom-directed treatment is usually sufficient but specific immunotherapy should be considered in severely affected patients.
A correction for this article was published in the November 2015 issue of Medicine Today. The full text PDF for this article (see link above) has been corrected.

Key Points
  • The prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased more than 10-fold in the past century.
  • Allergic rhinitis is a significant chronic disease that affects the younger, usually more healthy population.
  • Allergic rhinitis significantly affects quality of life and impairs work performance.
  • Inhaled airborne grass pollens are the major cause of hay fever.
  • Effective therapies are available, including antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids.
  • Immunotherapy is also effective treatment for more severely affected patients.

    Picture credit: © Zoonar GmbH/Alamy/

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