The guideline is applicable to both adult and pediatric patients with AR. However, children under age 2 years were excluded because AR may be different in this population than in older patients.
The Value of Patient History and Physical Examination
According to Sandra Lin, MD, an assistant chair of the panel, who is associate professor in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, one key point in the guideline is that simply conducting a careful patient history and a physical examination may be all that’s needed to make an AR clinical diagnosis and prescribe treatment. “Some physicians may think that all patients need to have specific skin or blood tests to confirm AR and proceed with treatment,” she said. “But in straightforward cases, that’s not necessary. The guideline reviews what to look for as far as specific history items and physical findings that suggest AR.”
In addition, imaging is not needed to diagnose or treat straightforward AR cases. Instead, Dr. Lin said, imaging should be reserved for patients with comorbidities or those who have another issue such as chronic sinusitis or atypical symptoms that might suggest a nasal tumor or mass.