Introduction: Allergic diseases are common and they have increased in frequency over the last few decades. More than 30% of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis (AR). It is defined as a combination of two or more symptoms, namely, watery rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing. Allergic rhinitis occurs when these symptoms are the result of immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated inflammation following exposure to allergens. The common inhalant allergens causing AR are house dust mites, pollens, fungi, and insects. Skin prick test (SPT) is the gold standard test in the diagnosis of AR.
Aim: To study the distribution of inhalant allergens in AR and to find out seasonal variations in allergens by SPT.
Materials and methods: A descriptive study was done in 120 patients who came with symptoms of AR to ear, nose, and throat (ENT) outpatient department (OPD) of tertiary care hospital. The study was done from November 2017 to October 2018. The patient was clinically evaluated and the SPT was performed to analyze the distribution of inhalant allergens and its seasonal variations.
Results: The majority of the patients are males between 21 and 30 years of age. Majority of the people are urban residents. Dust mites followed by pollens yielded the highest number of positive responses among inhalant allergens. Dust mites and dusts are more common during winter season, pollens are more common during summer season, and fungi and insects (5.83%) during rainy season.
Conclusion: Analyzing the distribution of specific allergens for a particular geographical area and its seasonal variation helps in appropriate diagnostic evaluation of allergens, educating the patient on what allergen to avoid and also to find the best formulation of allergen immunotherapy for effective AR treatment.