13 Dec Allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is a condition where inflammation occurs in mucosal membrane due to an allergic reaction when allergens are inhaled. It also is known as allergic rhinosinusitis which involves both nasal and sinus mucosa. Allergic rhinitis is often accompanied by significant co-morbidities that include allergic conjunctivitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and/or asthma symptoms.
It is common to not be able to tell the difference between a cold and sinus infection. Colds are caused by viral infections and it can bring on a nasty mix of symptoms that can really wear you down such as a sore throat, cough, headache, stuffy nose, and low-grade fever. Usually, colds get better on their own in 5 days or less.
When your nasal passage becomes infected, then it is called a sinus infection. Viruses, bacteria, or even allergies can lead to sinus infections. The resulting allergic inflammatory response produces increased vascular permeability, mucus production, inflammatory cell accumulation, and edema. This results in itching, sneezing, redness, rhinorrhoea, and nasal congestion.
There are two types of allergic rhinitis which are seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies usually occur during the spring and fall seasons and are typically in response to outdoor allergens like pollen. Meanwhile, perennial allergies can occur at any time during the year in response to indoor substances like dust mites and pet dander.
Having asthma or atopic dermatitis can also increase your risk of allergic rhinitis. Atopic dermatitis is also frequently associated with allergic rhinitis in children and adults. The term “Allergic March” also called “Atopic March” refers to the natural history of atopic manifestations which are characterized by IgE antibody responses and clinical symptoms. The symptoms may appear early in life and persist over years or decades and often remit spontaneously with age.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis
Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
- Runny, stuffy and itchy nose
- Red, itchy and watery eyes
- Ear, nose, throat, and sinus congestion
- Decreased sense of smell
- Dark circles under the eyes
- A frequent headache or sinus pressure
- Eczema-type-symptoms such as having extremely dry and itchy skin that can blister and weep
- A sore throat, post nasal drip
- Snoring and/or worsening sleep apnoea
- Poor mental concentration and impaired learning
One or more of these symptoms may immediately occur after encountering an allergen. Frequent headaches and fatigue may only happen after long-term exposure to allergens.
What causes allergic rhinitis?
When our body encounters allergens, it will automatically release a natural chemical called histamine to defend it from the allergen. This chemical can cause allergic rhinitis and its symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy watery eyes.
The allergens might be a dust particle, animal dander, pollen, indoor moulds, cat saliva, and occupational allergens. Besides that, symptoms can also occur when you eat food that you are allergic to. Some external factors can trigger or worsen this condition including:
- Cigarette smoke
- Cold temperature or humidity
- Air pollution and wind
- Hairspray or perfumes
- Food (nuts, seafood, food seasoning)
Treatments for allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis can be treated in several ways including medicines, home remedies, and possibly alternative medicines.
Eliminate possible causes
- The best treatment is to avoid allergens that trigger your symptoms. It may sound impossible to avoid all pollen and dust. But, you can often take steps to reduce your exposure like wearing a mask, get an air purifier, and drive with your windows up and set your car ventilation systems to circulate so that you don’t bring allergens into your car.
- Try to avoid taking foods that you are allergic to. Common foods which are known to cause allergies are those containing gluten, dairy, and sugar.
Treat the symptoms (medicines)
- Treatment of allergic rhinitis include antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroid, ear and nasal drops.
- These medicines can be recommended by your doctor or pharmacist depending on your symptoms and how severe they are.
Home remedies (alternative and complementary medicines)
- More people with allergies are looking at ways to address the symptoms naturally.
- Although these alternative treatments are derived from plants and other natural substances, they can possibly interact with other medications and cause reactions. Seek advice from doctor or pharmacist before consuming it
- Some approaches involve nasal saline irrigation, steam inhalation, and traditional herbal approach.
Boost Immune Systems
- Boost and balance immune systems with Vitamin C and probiotics supplements. They are proven to reduce the allergic march and lessen the symptoms
- The asthma centre http://www.theasthmacenter.org
- Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov
- Healthline http://www.healthline.com
- Centres for disease control and prevention https://www.cdc.gov
- WebMD http://www.webmd.com
- World allergy http://www.worldallergy.org
- Natural living ideas http://www.naturallivingideas.com
- Herbal resource https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com
- NHS http://www.nhs.uk