Objectives: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a global health problem and its impact on health related quality of life for patients is substantial, and the economic impact often underestimated. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis in Oman is unknown. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of AR and associated co-morbidities among adults in Oman. Its secondary objective was to identify knowledge gaps in the literature with the aim of directing future research. Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional study of patients who presented to the outpatient otolaryngology clinic at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital with nasal symptoms between June 2010 and June 2011 was conducted.Results: A total of 887 patients were seen with nasal complaints. Among them 127 patients were diagnosed with non-infective rhinitis, the mean age of presentation was 27 years. AR was noted in 48% of patients, and non-allergic rhinitis in 52%. The prevalence of AR was 7%, with females being more affected than males, and age ranging from 18 to 51 years. Prevalence of perennial AR was 84% compared to seasonal AR which was 16%. The most common perennial antigens were house dust mites (80%) followed by cockroaches (67%). All patients diagnosed with seasonal AR were found to be sensitive to Russian thistle. The prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis in patients with AR was 34%.Conclusion: The prevalence of AR in the adult population presenting with nasal symptoms was found to be 7%, with associated chronic rhinosinusitis present in a third of these patients. However, there appears to be substantial knowledge gaps regarding the association of other comorbidities, like otitis media, bronchitis and bronchial asthma, the long-term outcomes of medical management, and indication of surgical intervention in patients with AR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas