J Korean Med Assoc.  2016 Apr;59(4):300-308. 10.5124/jkma.2016.59.4.300.

Current trends in treatment of allergic rhinitis

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. doctorth@korea.ac.kr


Allergic rhinitis is an IgE-mediated disease, leading to inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis are nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and/or nasal itching. Allergic rhinitis is a major health problem worldwide that causes illness and disability in daily life, affecting social life, sleep, school, and work. The economic cost of allergic rhinitis is substantial. Management of allergic rhinitis can be categorized largely into allergen avoidance, pharmacotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgical treatment. Although the general consensus is that allergen avoidance should lead to an improvement of symptoms, it is nearly impossible to completely avoid all allergens in real life. The importance of allergen avoidance is that minimizing allergen exposure can decrease medication dosage. Pharmacotherapy of allergic rhinitis may include any of histamine antagonist, topical/oral corticosteroid, leukotriene antagonist, decongestant, mast cell stabilizer, and cholinergic antagonist alone or in combination. Oral and intranasal spray of these medications are the main routes of administration. Immunotherapy is the medical procedure that uses controlled exposure to known allergens to reduce the severity of allergic disease. There are two ways of administering this treatment: subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Surgical treatment of the allergic rhinitis patient aims to resolve nasal obstruction by performing septoplasty or turbinoplasty.


Allergic rhinitis; Allergen avoidance; Pharmacotherapy; Immunotherapy; Surgical treatment
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