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WAO Medical Book Review

Posted: March 2014

Allergic Rhinitis
Edited by Edited by Marek L. Kowalski
Online Edition Published by InTech on 21 March 2012
ISBN 978-953-51-0288-5 – online edition
DOI: 10.5772/1442
InTech Copyright Policy
Published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0 License)

Retail Price: Free, Open Access for Online Edition
Available from: InTech

María Adelina Prieto Patrón, MD
Centro Médico Génova
Irapuato, Guanajuato. México

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is the most common clinical presentation of allergy, affecting 10% to 30% of the world population. The socioeconomic cost of AR is substantial, and AR adversely affects the quality of life of patients. AR may present with other comorbidities including chronic sinusitis, otitis media, and asthma.

Despite significant advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical diversity of AR, successful therapy for many patients can be a challenge for the physician. The most used and recommended medications are oral antihistaminic and nasal corticosteroids. The only current treatment that can modify the natural course of the disease is specific immunotherapy, which might not be suitable for all patients. This volume covers AR in different patient populations with different comorbid conditions, and it addresses evidence for two novel therapeutic approaches (phototherapy and herbal treatments).

The 12 chapters of this volume address a variety of important topics related to allergic rhinitis. The first one describes innovative translational approaches for unification of animal and human models. The following chapters describe AR patients in special conditions. In the pediatric population, the importance of treating AR as early as possible is emphasized in order to prevent the future development of asthma, as well as evidence for the effectiveness of sublingual immunotherapy for this group of patients.

AR is a very common disease in elite athletes. This group of patients sometimes is exposed to extreme weather conditions and risk factors. Early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment are crucial for improving long-term nasal function and reducing the risk for asthma exacerbations during exercise and competition

Another chapter provides detailed information about the relationships between upper and lower airways and the importance of considering the entire respiratory system as an integrated unit. Other important aspects such as the impact of AR on quality-of-life measures, comorbidities such as chronic cough, and quality of sleep are covered. The damage caused by tobacco users and former tobacco users in AR patients is described, supported by evidence-based studies.

Another chapter describes the method and utility of the nasal provocation test. This method can play a central role in the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis in some circumstances, such as suspected occupational rhinitis.

The final section of the book covers two novel treatments:

  1. Phototherapy. This modality has been demonstrated to be a safe and promising therapeutic modality for AR. Early evidence suggests that phototherapy can significantly improve the clinical symptoms of AR.
  2. Nigella sativa (Black Seed). Its systemic use in mild-to-moderate AR has shown evidence of efficacy. It is recommended as adjuvant therapy in patients treated with immunotherapy or conventional treatment. More clinical trials are needed to clarify the therapeutic effect of this and other herbal therapies.

Assessment and Audience
This book offers a comprehensive and stimulating, up-to-date review of allergic rhinitis. Allergists and other physicians interested in allergic disease and who deal with patients with AR such as otolaryngologists, pediatricians, and general practitioners may find this book very useful. The book is available in open access format or can be purchased in print form.