Allergic rhinitis: Review of the diagnosis and management: South African Allergic Rhinitis Working Group

Guy A. Richards*, Marinda McDonald, Claudia L. Gray, Pieter de Waal, Ray Friedman, Maurice Hockman, Sarah J. Karabus, Cornelia M. Lodder, Tshegofatso Mabelane, Sylvia M. Mosito, Ashen Nanan, Jonny G. Peter, Traugott H.C. Quitter, Riaz Seedat, Sylvia van den Berg, Andre van Niekerk, Eftyhia Vardas, Charles Feldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) has a significant impact on the community as a whole with regard to quality of life and its relationship to allergic multi-morbidities. Appropriate diagnosis, treatment and review of the efficacy of interventions can ameliorate these effects. Yet, the importance of AR is often overlooked, and appropriate therapy is neglected. The availability of effective medications and knowledge as to management are often lacking in both public and private health systems. Methods: This review is based on a comprehensive literature search and detailed discussions by the South African Allergic Rhinitis Working Group (SAARWG). Results: The working group provided up-to-date recommendations on the epidemiology, pathology, diagnosis and management of AR, appropriate to the South African setting. Conclusion: Allergic rhinitis causes significant, often unappreciated, morbidity. It is a complex disease related to an inflammatory response to environmental allergens. Therapy involves education, evaluation of allergen sensitisation, pharmacological treatment, allergen immunotherapy (AIT) and evaluation of the success of interventions. Regular use of saline; the important role of intranasal corticosteroids, including those combined with topical antihistamines and reduction in the use of systemic steroids are key. Practitioners should have a thorough knowledge of associated morbidities and the need for specialist referral. Contribution: This review summarises the latest developments in the diagnosis and management of AR such that it is a resource that allows easy access for family practitioners and specialists alike.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera5806
JournalSouth African Family Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • allergic rhinitis
  • antihistamines
  • immunotherapy
  • intranasal corticosteroids
  • saline rinse


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