The British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has published updated guidance on the diagnosis and management of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis.

Allergic rhinitis is common and affects 10–15% of children and 26% of adults in the UK. It is often trivialised and can have a profound effect on quality of life, work, and students’ ability to learn in school.

The updated version of the guideline takes into account new evidence in the understanding of how rhinitis may be controlled, and emphasises that:

  • rhinitis is diagnosed by history and examination, and supported by specific allergy tests
  • rhinitis is a risk factor for the development of asthma
  • topical nasal corticosteroids are the treatment of choice for moderate-to-severe allergic rhinitis and that the addition of intranasal antihistamine may further improve control
  • immunotherapy is highly effective when a specific allergen is the responsible driver for the symptoms.

The guideline also covers non-allergic rhinitis and will assist healthcare professionals in making an accurate diagnosis of the type of rhinitis, how to work out which allergens matter, and knowing which patients require referral to ENT surgeons, allergists, or immunologists.