Allergic rhinitis is a common and troubling condition. Basic management of this condition has
been well described. However, acute exacerbations of the chronic condition allergic rhinitis
are a seldom discussed or described problem despite the fact that even well-controlled patients
frequently have exacerbations. This consideration means that a new approach is necessary to
define the management of these patients. There are three important events that illustrate the
need for a new therapeutic approach:
• A person who gets a new diagnosis of allergic rhinitis, but has symptoms for many months
• A sufferer of allergic rhinitis who is exposed to an environment that triggers an exacerbation
• A person who has an exacerbation related to another trigger.
Recognition of triggers and management strategies to correctly use ‘relief’ therapies such as
topical nasal decongestants is the key to successful management. In addition, the use of an
‘action plan’, as for asthma, is useful.