A study conducted in France provides further evidence of how allergic rhinitis adversely affects quality of life. Léger and associates found that allergic rhinitis impairs all dimensions of sleep quality.
The study included 591 patients who had had allergic rhinitis for at least 1 year. A control group consisted of 502 persons without allergic rhinitis who were matched for age, sex, and geographic area. The Sleep Disorders Questionnaire and Epworth Sleepiness Scale were used to evaluate sleep disorders and sleep quality. Patients also completed the Score for Allergic Rhinitis questionnaire.
All dimensions of sleep were impaired by allergic rhinitis (Table). For example, patients with allergic rhinitis were more likely than controls to have difficulty with falling asleep, nocturnal awakening, and nonrestorative sleep. About 44% of those with allergic rhinitis reported a feeling of fatigue on awakening despite a normal night's sleep. The adverse effects of allergic rhinitis were more pronounced in patients who had severe disease. The duration of allergic rhinitis was not a significant factor.
The investigators also found that the presence of allergic rhinitis was associated with impaired memory, mood, and sexuality, and increased use of alcohol and sedatives.