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Allergic Rhinitis - Everything That You Ought To Know

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  19 years experience
Allergic Rhinitis - Everything That You Ought To Know

An estimated 10 to 30 percent of people across the world suffer from Allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, is a condition wherein the immune system overly responds to allergens resulting in inflammation in the nose. As you might be aware, an allergen is typically a harmless substance present in the surroundings causing an uncomfortable allergic reaction.

Following is a detailed account of the condition.

Symptoms-
Some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include,

  1. Sneezing
  2. Stuffy and runny nose
  3. Persistent coughing
  4. Itchy and watery eyes
  5. Sore throat
  6. Frequent headaches
  7. Dark circles under the eyes
  8. And, symptoms associated with eczema

Further, it also results in hives and excessive fatigue. An allergic person is likely to feel many of these symptoms within a few minutes of coming into contact with an allergen. Some symptoms, such as recurrent fatigue and headaches can only happen when there is long-term exposure to allergens. There are some people, who rarely undergo any signs, and this happens when a person is exposed to the allergens in massive quantities.

Causes of Allergic Rhinitis:
When the body comes in contact with the allergen, it triggers the release of histamine which is a natural chemical that defends the body from the allergen. This histamine can lead to allergic rhinitis and the associated symptoms which may range from a blocked or a runny nose to itchy eyes. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, animal dander, grass pollen, and mold.

There are two variants of allergic rhinitis- seasonal and perennial.

  1. Seasonal- Seasonal allergies usually occur during specific seasons owing to the response to outdoor allergens. For example, during a specific time in the year such as spring, the pollen can cause allergies in a person. Also, when trees and flowers release pollens during the fall and summer, seasonal allergic rhinitis can be seen on the rise.
  2. Perennial- On the other hand, perennial allergens tend to linger all-round the year, and pet dander, mold or dust mites come under perennial allergic rhinitis causing allergens.

Diagnosing and treating allergic rhinitis-
When a person is suffering from minor allergies, a physical exam may be required. But a doctor may also perform some tests for identifying the best course of treatment as well as prevention plan for a particular patient. A skin prick test is one of the best ways to determine whether you have allergic rhinitis.

This health issue can be treated in a variety of ways which range from home remedies to medications to alternative therapies. Common medications include antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays and eye drops.

Staying away from a known allergen is the best possible way to prevent allergic rhinitis. When diagnosed, it is necessary to consult your doctor as the condition may sometimes lead to complications.

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