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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
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Otorinolaringologia 2006 March;56(1):27-35

language: English

Allergic rhinitis and sleep disturbances

Gibbs J. G., Hanks C., Mccann J., Wei W., Craig T. J.

Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care Division Penn State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USA


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Allergic rhinitis affects many people worldwide and has a significant impact on daily functioning and quality of life. It also imposes a significant socioeconomic burden due to its effect on productivity at work as well as school. Nasal congestion is the most troublesome symptom of allergic rhinitis and leads to the many adverse effects of this condition. In this review, the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of allergic rhinitis will be covered with a focus on the TH2 immune response and the current therapy that is utilized to attenuate this inflammation. In addition, an emphasis on the relationship between allergic rhinitis and sleep will also be explored. Sleep disordered breathing will be discussed along with an overview of the abnormal nasal physiology observed in allergic rhinitis. It has been suggested that allergic rhinitis may be associated with sleep disordered breathing and thus may pose an even greater threat to quality of life and performance in the work-place. Another theory proposes that the underlying inflammation seen in allergic rhinitis directly contributes to daytime somnolence. Recent research performed at our institution and by others demonstrates that treatment of allergic rhinitis with topical nasal corticosteroids is effective in reducing the burden of sleep disturbances associated with allergic rhinitis.

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