Objective: The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) convened an expert, multidisciplinary Working Group on Allergic Rhinitis to discuss patients' self-treatment behaviors and how health care providers approach and treat the condition. Procedures and Data Sources: Co-moderators, who were chosen by the AAOA Board of Directors, were responsible for initial agenda development and selection of presenters and participants, based on their expertise in diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis. Each presenter performed a literature search from which a presentation was developed, portions of which were utilized in developing this review article. Summary of Findings: Allergic rhinitis is a common chronic condition that has a significant negative impact on general health, co-morbid illnesses, productivity, and quality of life. Treatment of allergic rhinitis includes avoidance of allergens, immunotherapy, and/or pharmacotherapy (ie, antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers, anti-leukotriene agents, anticholinergics). Despite abundant treatment options, 60% of all allergic rhinitis patients in an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America survey responded that they are "very interested" in finding a new medication and 25% are "constantly" trying different medications to find one that "works." Those who were dissatisfied also said their health care provider does not understand their allergy treatment needs and does not take their allergy symptoms seriously. Dissatisfaction leads to decreased compliance and an increased reliance on multiple agents and over-the-counter products. Furthermore, a lack of effective communication between health care provider and patient leads to poor disease control, noncompliance, and unhappiness in a significant portion of patients. Conclusions: Health care providers must gain a greater understanding of patient expectations to increase medication compliance and patient satisfaction and confidence.
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