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Allergic rhinitis and asthma

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Have you ever imagined what it is like to not be able to smell your favourite scent (coffee, fresh bread, your partner's perfume)? Imagine finding it difficult to sleep at night or not being able to walk quickly to work because you are too breathless? For many people, this can be a way of life that they accept.

There are therapeutic options that can make a difference to the symptoms of both allergic rhinitis2, 3 and asthma,4 but many of our patients do not realise this and accept many of their symptoms as normal.5, 6

One of our main duties as clinicians is to work with our patients to improve their symptoms where we can - and we should encourage our patients not to accept sub-optimal treatment.

This is the third in a series of three articles. The first two covered the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of allergic rhinitis7 and treatment,8 and this article will cover the link between asthma and allergic rhinitis and the benefits of being aware of and treating both.

This article assumes that the reader will be already reasonably familiar with the diagnosis and management of both asthma and allergic rhinitis and will concentrate on issues around prevention and treatment where the conditions co-exist.

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