Background Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC) is managed by a number of health care professional specialties, whose practice styles may vary. Objective To survey patients and health care professionals about the diagnosis and treatment of ARC. Methods The Allergies, Immunotherapy, and RhinoconjunctivitiS (AIRS) surveys were telephone surveys of randomly selected patients and health care professionals in the United States in 2012. Participants were 2,765 people ever diagnosed as having nasal and/or ocular allergies and 500 practitioners in 7 specialties who were treating ARC. Results Adult respondents to the patient survey reported that their allergies had been diagnosed most often by physicians in family practice (46%) rather than by allergists/immunologists (17%) or otolaryngologists (11%). Children's allergies had been diagnosed most often by pediatricians (41%) and family practitioners (22%). Most respondents with conditions diagnosed by an allergist/immunologist (94.9%) or otolaryngologist (62.7%) had been given an allergy test, but the test was not given to most patients with conditions diagnosed by family practitioners (61.3%) or pediatricians (64.9%). Most patients (75.8%) were treating their allergies with over-the-counter medications, and 53.5% were taking prescription medications. Allergen immunotherapy was being used by 33% (adult) or 28% (child) patients of allergist/immunologists, 25% (adult) or 24% (child) patients of otolaryngologists, and 8% and 10% of patients of family practitioners and pediatricians, respectively. Conclusion Most patients took nonprescription medications for their allergy symptoms or were treated by general practitioners, who did not use allergy testing when diagnosing ARC. Most patients seen by allergist/immunologists and otolaryngologists were evaluated with allergy tests, and most allergen immunotherapy was provided by allergy specialists.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine