Background: Allergic rhinitis is commonly divided into seasonal and perennial rhinitis. The recent Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) workshop proposes to replace these terms by intermittent vs persistent rhinitis.
Methods: In order to test the new ARIA classification against the classical one used in medical practice in France, we designed two cross-sectional surveys: (i) a spring survey, where 1321 general practitioners enrolled 3026 patients consulting for seasonal allergic rhinitis and (ii) an autumn–winter survey, where 1346 doctors enrolled 3507 patients for perennial allergic rhinitis. Both doctors and patients filled out a specific questionnaire on allergic rhinitis.
Results: Focusing on the number of days per week and consecutive weeks per year, the patients described the duration of their symptoms (based on an auto-questionnaire). About 43.7% of the patients, classified by their doctor as seasonal, did in fact have persistent rhinitis, whereas 44.6% classified as perennial had intermittent rhinitis.
Conclusions: The proposal of the ARIA expert panel defining the chronology of allergic rhinitis as number of days per week and consecutive weeks per year is likely to change daily physician practice.