Background: The Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) workshop proposes a classification of allergic rhinitis severity. It does not take into account impairment in quality of life and treatment should be adapted accordingly.
Methods: Two cross-sectional surveys were designed:a spring survey, for which 1,321 practitioners enrolled 3,026 patients consulting for seasonal allergic rhinitis and an autumn-winter survey, for which 1,346 practitioners enrolled 3,507 patients consulting for perennial allergic rhinitis. Simple quality of life parameters were included and logistic regressions were performed in order to assess the impairment of quality of life.
Results: The majority of the patients were experiencing an impairment on their quality of life (92.2%). Except for cough, these patients had significantly more nasal, lung and ocular symptoms. In a multivariate analysis, rhinorrhea, nasal itching, red eyes, dyspnea, change in voice, fatigue and headache were correlated to impairment of quality of life. Persistent rhinitis was associated only with subjects who expressed difficulties in reading, and intermittent rhinitis with those who had to blow their nose and who expressed an impact on their professional activities.
Conclusions: The proposal of the ARIA expert panel defining the severity of allergic rhinitis based on quality of life parameters is likely to simplify daily physician practice.