Quality of life in adults and children with allergic rhinitis

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Jul;108(1 Suppl):S45-53. doi: 10.1067/mai.2001.115566.


Quality of life, when referring to an individual's health, is called health-related quality of life (HRQL). HRQL focuses on patients' perceptions of their disease and measures impairments that have significant impact on the patient. Similar symptoms may vary in their effect on different individuals; the goal of therapy should be to reduce impairments that patients consider important. HRQL can be measured with generic or specific questionnaires. Specific questionnaires may be more sensitive and are much more likely to detect clinically important changes in patients' impairments. Specific questionnaires used to assess HRQL in rhinitis are the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Adolescent Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire, and the Pediatric Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire. HRQL issues in adult rhinitis patients include fatigue, decrease in energy, general health perception, and social function; impairment of HQRL generally increases with increasing degree of symptoms and severity of disease. In children, HRQL issues include learning impairment, inability to integrate with peers, anxiety, and family dysfunction. Comorbid disorders often associated with rhinitis, including sinusitis, otitis media, and frequent respiratory infections, can further compromise HRQL. Pharmacologic treatments can have both positive and negative effects on HRQL. Agents that have troublesome adverse effects such as sedation can have a negative impact, whereas nonsedating antihistamines and intranasal cortico-steroids can significantly improve HRQL in patients of all ages with rhinitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / psychology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / psychology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy
  • Steroids
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Steroids