Allergic rhinitis (AR) is common and has been shown to impair social life and sleep. Patients with severe symptoms may have more sleep disturbances than those with a mild form of the disease, but this has never been assessed using a validated tool. The objective of our study was to assess, in patients with AR, whether duration and severity of AR are associated with sleep impairment.
A nationwide controlled cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out. A representative sample of 260 French ear, nose, and throat and allergy specialists enrolled 591 patients with AR of at least 1 year's duration. Sleep disorders, sleep quality, and AR were assessed using validated tools (Sleep Disorders Questionnaire, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and Score for Allergic Rhinitis). The severity of AR was assessed using the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma classification.
All dimensions of sleep were impaired by AR, particularly by the severe type. Sleep was significantly more impaired in patients with severe AR than in those with the mild type. The duration of AR (intermittent or persistent) had no effect on sleep.
These data underline the close relationship between AR and sleep and highlight the need for clinicians, particularly general practitioners, to be attentive in this respect.