CONCLUSION: Early intervention may change the natural course of allergic rhinitis, preventing the progression to asthma. In particular, immunotherapy guarantees remission of local symptoms and valid protection against local and bronchial complications. Symptomatic treatment represents a valid alternative; it is always to be preferred to abstention from any treatment. OBJECTIVES: Data emerging from various studies on the increase of the prevalence of allergic rhinitis in recent decades appear to be widely dishomogeneous. Another point that needs clarification is the relationship between allergic rhinitis and lower airways pathologies such as asthma or bronchitis. METHODS: We followed the evolution of allergic rhinitis in a group of patients for the last 30 years to highlight the efficacy of different treatments in the prevention of complications, specifically asthma. After 32 years (1980-2012), 46/73 (63%) patients completed the follow-up. RESULTS: Symptomatic drugs exhibited maximum efficacy from the third to the eighth year, with 13 of 15 patients reporting an improvement of symptoms; immunotherapy achieved the best efficacy starting from the sixth to the tenth year (8 of 10 patients recovered). Subsequently, improvements decreased in the two groups, to a steady level of 11 of 15 and 6 of 10 recovered patients. Asthma developed in 3 of 46 patients and only among patients that were not treated.
- allergic rhinitis
- natural history