Allergic Rhinitis: A Growing Primary Care Challenge


  • Mary Lou Hayden RN-C, MS, FNP,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mary Lou Hayden, RN-C, MS, is a FNP at the Virginia Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Center, Richmond, Virginia, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of Virginia.
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  • Lorna Schumann PhD, APRN-BC, NP-C, CCRN, ARNP, FNP, ACNP, FAANP

Contact Ms. Hayden by e-mail at



To describe the growing problem of allergic rhinitis (AR) and the latest recommendations on its diagnosis and management for the nurse practitioner (NP) in primary care settings.

Data Sources

Recent clinical research, review articles and consensus guidelines, and the author's clinical experience.


The prevalence of AR is increasing, possibly due to increased airborne pollutants, poor ven-tilation, and rising levels of indoor allergens. Allergic disease is systemic and rarely involves a single symptom. Treatments include reducing exposure to allergens as well as pharma-cotherapy.

Implications for Practice

Patient education is crucial for successful management and includes understanding the aller-gic basis of symptoms, reducing allergen expo-sure, understanding proper use of medications, and reassessing the plan on a regular basis.