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Allergic Rhinitis – Standard Treatment Guidelines

Allergic Rhinitis – Standard Treatment Guidelines

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has issued the Standard Treatment Guidelines for Allergic Rhinitis. Following are the major recommendations:


Allergic rhinitis is allergic inflammation of nasal airways.


When a foreign protein (allergen) is inhaled by a previously sensitized individual, a reaction between the allergen and the antibodies takes place on the nasal mucosa. This inflammatory reaction presents as itching in the nose, sneezing and nose block.

Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal or perrineal. Allergic rhinitis is found to co exist with Bronchial asthma, nasal polyps, sinusitis, adenoid hypertrophy, Eustachian tube dysfunction and otitis media.

Incidence In Our Country

No exact data are available in our country.

Differential Diagnosis

The diagnosis is clinical. The differential diagnosis would include

1. Vasomotor rhinitis

2. Hormonal rhinitis in pregnancy, hypothyroidism etc

3. Nasal block due to deviated nasal septum

4. Immotile cilia syndrome

5. Specific rhinitis caused by granulomatous diseases like wegener’s and sarcoidosis.

Prevention And Counselling

Allergic rhinitis can be prevented by environmental control measures and allergen avoidance by reducing outdoor exposure during pollen season. For indoor allergens prevention would include:

1. Covering mattresses with impermeable covers

2. Washing of bed linen every two weeks in hot water

3. Avoidance of exposure to pets

Optimal Diagnostic Criteria, Investigations, Treatment & Referral Criteria

At Secondary Hospital/ Non Metro Situation

Clinical Diagnosis :

The diagnosis is essentially based on history. The basic evaluation should include:

1. Complete ENT examination

2. Nasal examination for condition of nasal mucosa and polyps if any.

3. Evaluation of respiratory system to exclude asthma

Investigations :

1. complete blood count,

2. Absolute eosinophil count.

3. X Ray of paranasal sinuses.

4. Other investigations based on associated conditions

Treatment :

Out Patient : 

1. Nasal decongestants: avil, cetrizine, fexofenadine etc

2. Nasal Steroid sprays: Fluticasone, Mometasone, Budesonide etc

3. Oral steroids: for refractory cases and those with asthma.

Day Care : nil

Inpatient : 

1. Surgical procedures like septoplasty, adenoidectomy with or without grommet insertion, polypectomy may be required.

2. Manangement of comorbities.

Referral Criteria :

1. Extensive nasal polyposis

2. Associated complications not manageable in the centre.

At Tertiary Hospital/ Metro Situation

Clinical Diagnosis :

Nasal examination is complemented with nasal endoscopy under local anaesthesia.

Investigations :

1. Allergy skin testing

2. IgE estimation if available

3. CT Scan of paranasal sinuses

Treatment :

Additional measures which may be required are

Out Patient :  antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, leukotrienne antagonists and oral steroids.

Day Care/Inpatient : 

1. Septoplasty

2. Endoscopic sinus surgery

3. management of comorbidiites.

Referral Criteria :

1. In adequate facilities for any of the above.

Guidelines by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare :

Dr J M Hans Ex-HOD Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology Dr.RML Hospital New Delhi

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  1. user
    Dr Rajesh K.Shah ms ENT mica Allergy March 29, 2017, 6:43 pm

    1Use of oral steroids for allergic rhinitis is devastating, does treating doctor if suffering from allergic rhinitis would take oral steroids ?
    2 Allergen Specific Immunotherapy is the main treatment of patients suffering from severe persistant Allergic Rhinitis

  2. user
    NARENDRA KOYYALAMUDI May 12, 2017, 10:04 am

    Immunotherapy for Allergic Rhinitis is time consuming and costly.
    Yet does not provide long lasting relief.

  3. user
    Dr.J. N. Chaudhuri March 29, 2017, 6:36 pm


  4. Nothing new.