There is comparatively little information on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in subjects with allergic rhinitis (AR) or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (AR/C) in countries beyond western Europe and North America. The primary aim of this investigation was therefore to review and assess the information in the public domain on HRQoL in AR/C patients from diverse regions of the world, represented by different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey. Second, in view of the absence of a standardized definition for ‘AR control’, the review aimed to determine whether a working definition of AR/C can be inferred from validated tests or other instruments documented to date. Despite the comparatively low number of studies, this review demonstrated that overall the symptoms of AR/C impair the HRQoL of patients in these regions by adversely impacting sleep, daily activities, physical and mental status and social functioning, similar to that demonstrated in much larger numbers of studies of AR/C patients in Europe and the United States. Furthermore, the findings of the review suggest that ‘overall’ control of the disease should encompass reduction of nasal and ocular symptoms, as well as improvements in HRQoL, comorbid conditions and cognition. Although some instruments are currently available for measuring control of AR, none are capable of assessing all these aspects, emphasizing the need to develop appropriate new instruments.