Rhinologists often encounter a broad spectrum of allergic rhinitis (AR) and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) patients, who can be variably classified based upon timing and severity of disease. Our understanding of the varied quality of life (QOL) impact in different classifications of rhinitis is limited. Thus a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of rhinitis upon our patients, as measured by both patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and clinical physiologic measures, as well as unique factors associated with disease severity is needed.
A systematic search of databases was performed to identify AR and NAR studies reporting Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ), total nasal symptom score (TNSS), or visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, and physiologic measures including peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF) and nasal airflow. Relationships between PROMs, physiologic measures, and associated factors (e.g., allergic status, disease duration) were assessed by weighted correlations and meta-regressions.
A total of 171 studies reporting on 33,843 patients were included. Symptoms were more severe in AR than NAR on VAS (p < 0.001). Classification based upon Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines demonstrated differences in PROM severity. There was no significant correlation between PROMs and demographic factors, comorbidities, or physiologic measures. Meta-regression identified a correlation between worse RQLQ scores and shorter disease duration (r = -0.4, p < 0.001).
Rhinitic patients have more severe impact upon QOL in the presence of allergy with variable impact upon specific symptom subdomains. PROMs do not correlate with common demographic factors, comorbidities, or physiologic measures of nasal airflow.

© 2021 ARS-AAOA, LLC.