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Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 Jul;25(7):1785-92. doi: 10.1185/03007990903021968.

Relative strength of relationships of nasal congestion and ocular symptoms with sleep, mood and productivity.

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United BioSource Corporation, Center for Health Outcomes Research, London, UK.



Nasal congestion associated with allergic rhinitis has been shown to be the most bothersome symptom. Ocular symptoms may be troublesome to patients as well.


To estimate the relative strength of relationships of nasal congestion and ocular symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis with patient-reported outcomes of sleep quality; practical problems; somnolence; impairment at work, class, activities; and mood.


Patients (n = 404) presenting with symptoms of allergic rhinitis completed five patient-reported outcomes that assessed the effect of morning allergic rhinitis symptoms on patients' reports of sleep, work and activity impairment, and mood. Multiple regression analyses were used to compare the relative strength of relationships of congestion and ocular symptoms with the patient-reported outcomes.


The majority of patients had both nasal congestion and ocular symptoms at baseline. A single nasal congestion item and a 3-item ocular symptom score were significantly related to the patient-reported outcomes: those with more severe congestion or ocular symptoms reported more negative scores on the patient-reported outcomes. Nasal congestion had the stronger relationship with patient-reported outcomes total scores or subscales in 14 of 20 regressions.


Although nasal congestion is generally more strongly related to the patient-reported outcomes, ocular symptoms have a significant negative effect on patients' lives. Study limitations include: (1) only baseline data were used because of greater severity and variability of symptoms scores; we are unable to establish causal relationships or discuss change, only correlation/covariation; (2) recruitment took place from September through November, thus different patients might have been recruited if sampling took place during the spring; (3) patients were screened for nasal congestion not for ocular symptoms, though there was high co-occurrence of each. These limitations aside, congestion and ocular symptoms are troublesome to patients and typically co-occur. Evaluating and treating these symptoms are key to managing allergic rhinitis and improving patient-reported outcomes.

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