An inconsistent link between sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and allergic rhinitis has been reported in the literature for decades. This review attempts to highlight some of the recent epidemiological studies purporting and refuting this connection, discuss possible mechanisms for this relationship and discuss how treatment of allergic rhinitis can help ameliorate SDB.
Recently, a large systematic review that included 18 studies and 27 000 individuals of the association between allergic rhinitis and SDB in children was published supporting a correlation between SDB and allergic rhinitis.
Although the evidence generally supports a connection between SDB and allergic rhinitis, this connection is not definitive and the mechanism linking these two diseases remains poorly understood. In addition to epidemiological studies, several small studies have demonstrated an improvement in SDB upon treatment of allergic rhinitis; however, large studies using objective measures to quantify SDB and allergic rhinitis are needed.
aDepartment of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
bDepartment of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pediatrics & Internal Medicine-Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesia & Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Correspondence to Stacey L. Ishman, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Pediatrics, Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine and Internal Medicine – Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Director of Center for Snoring and Sleep Surgery, Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, 601 North Caroline Street, Room 6231, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Tel: +1 410 502 3225; fax: +1 410 955 0035; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org