Friday, 6 June 2014

Doc Talk: The Flu that Isn't

Source: Mind Your Body, The Straits Times - 5 June 2014

This is a good article from our local newspaper published yesterday, discussing about the lack of awareness of allergic rhinitis (AR). Indeed, when I first started having the symptoms of sneezing, running nose and itchy eyes on a regularly basis, I thought I had a recurrent flu. It is not easy to differentiate for early sufferers, even more so for kids. You can refer to this quick guide to help you differentiate.

Dr Soh Jian Yi, an associate consultant at the division of paediatric allergy, immunology and rheumatology at National University Hospital said that the low rate of diagnosis for allergic rhinitis is likely due to lack of awareness. 

"The symptoms are either ignored, attributed to frequent flu, asthma or even naughty behaviour."

Allergic rhinitis can lead to the following:
Discomfort and disturbed sleep
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Impairment of daily activities
Learning and performance (be it in school or at work for adults)
Decreased quality of life
Chronic rhinosinusitis

" But awareness and diagnosis of AR is only half the battle. The other half is to find the appropriate treatment for it..."

Dr Soh will discuss about treatment for allergic rhinitis next week. Stay tuned!

Note: I blanked out an ad in the newspaper cutting to keep the article clean looking :)