This site is intended for health professionals only

Survey links asthma and allergic rhinitis

Asthma UK's annual survey of people with asthma has found that 67% of those who took part also experienced allergic rhinitis (hayfever) symptoms.

It found that of those who experienced hay fever symptoms, 72% said that their asthma became worse as a result.

The findings support the increasing recognition of an association between asthma and allergic rhinitis. Previous research has reported that at least 50% of people with asthma also suffer from allergic rhinitis, and research also shows that the presence of allergic rhinitis increases the risk of asthma attacks and emergency hospital admission.

However, 65% of survey respondents with allergic rhinitis symptoms said that their healthcare professional (doctor, nurse or pharmacist) had never discussed its impact on asthma control.

For the majority of people surveyed (84%), symptoms were most severe during the spring or summer months, when pollen levels are high and hayfever is more prominent. However, 20% of respondents experienced allergic rhinitis symptoms all year round, suggesting that people with asthma need to regularly monitor their symptoms.

Dr John Haughney, president of the International Primary Care Respiratory Group and GP in Glasgow, said: "This survey highlights the impact that comorbid conditions can have on asthma and the important role that healthcare professionals can play in monitoring and treating upper airway symptoms, particularly in those patients where asthma is not adequately controlled."
Asthma UK