Reflective Practive


Considering rhinitis significantly reduces quality of life and results in substantial healthcare costs1

Allergic rhinitis affects approximately 3.3 million people in England2

The nose is the gateway to the respiratory tract and rhinitis is associated with symptoms arising from the sinuses, middle ear, the nasopharynx and lower airways.1 Although airborne allergens are difficult to avoid and there is only limited evidence for successful avoidance, some aspects of management may be improved by allergen identification3

Both allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis are risk factors for the development of asthma.1 More than 80% of people with asthma also suffer from rhinitis.4

The benefits of allergy testing

Targeted management of atopic patients could reduce the healthcare burden5,6

Is there a suspicion of allergy?

1. Go beyond symptoms and identify the cause

  • Avoid unnecessary prescriptions
  • Avoid unnecessary consultations
  • Reduce the prescription burden and save costs
  • Reduce time off school, college or work and reduce waitling lists
  • Save time, costs and help patients live a less encumbered life

2. Early diagnosis of allergy

3. Determine the right treatment plan

4. Active management

What are the clinical benefits of testing for components?

Allergen component diagnostics measure IgE to particular allergen components, uncovering additional information about an underlying allergy.

Not only do they indicate specific allergen reactivity in the way that whole extracts do but they are also indicators for:

understand patient risk - add confidence to your assessment


selecting patients for immunotherapy - useful for venom and aero-allergy patient selection

Understanding cross-reactions between species - help to understand multiple sensitisations e.g. in pollen-food syndrome

What do the experts say?

  1. Scadding GK, et al. Clin Exp Allergy 2008; 38: 19-42.
  2. House of Lords, Science and Technology sixth report- the extent and burden of allergy in the United Kingdom. Available from; last accessed April 2013.
  3. UK Facts. Available at:; Last accessed April 2013.
  4. Angier E, et al. Prim Care Respir J 2010; 19: 217-222.
  5. House of Lords, Science and Technology sixth report- the extent and burden of allergy in the United Kingdom. Available from; last accessed July 2015.
  6. Pearce L. Nursing Times 2012; 108(17): 20-22.

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