“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming” Pablo Neruda
Spring brings a lot of trouble for hundreds of thousands of people affected by allergies, in particular allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is a very common disorder, caused by inflammation of the nasal mucosa due to an allergic reaction to pollen or to other outdoor and indoor allergens such as house dust mites, molds or animal dander. Patients most often describe it as a stuffy nose, although some would rather describe it as runny nose or excessive sneezing. In addition to nasal symptoms, inhalation of airborne allergens may give rise to conjunctival symptoms like itchy eyes, tearing, etc.
Allergic rhinitis heavily impairs the quality of life of people affected including sleep deprivation, impaired concentration, and decreased learning capacity. Further more untreated allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for asthma. Investigations estimate a loss of around 100 billion Euros due to uncontrolled allergic rhinitis affecting productivity.
Find out more about allergic rhinitis in the EAACI webinar.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) could be the key that frees you from your symptoms. AIT significantly improves in symptoms, medication use and quality of life, and is cost-effective compared to symptomatic therapy alone. The two most commonly prescribed AIT routes are subcutaneous and sublingual.
A detailed diagnosis of IgE-mediated (allergic) disease is mandatory before AIT can be prescribed. It is good clinical practice to be diagnosed and supervised by an allergy specialist who can carefully instruct patients about the scope and modality of the treatment.
The third wave of the Beware of Allergy campaign conducted by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in cooperation with European National Allergy societies, patients organisations and community pharmacists (The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union-PGEU) aims to:
- Highlight the increasing incidence and burden of allergic rhinitis
- Call on patients, healthcare professionals and pharmacists to seek advice on the correct management of allergic diseases
- Explain the benefits of allergen immunotherapy.