What is Allergic rhinitis ?
Rhinitis is one of the diseases that many people may suffer from. Allergic rhinitis causes cold-like symptoms. As its name suggests, this allergy usually occurs in open spaces and in nature and when exposed to allergens such as pollen, insects, etc. If you are suffering from this disease, you probably have questions in your mind, for example, what are the symptoms of this disease? Is there a way to cure it? What to do to prevent symptoms?
Allergic rhinitis is a type of allergy that has symptoms similar to the common cold, but unlike the common cold, it is not caused by a virus. Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to a harmless outdoor or indoor substance that the body recognizes as harmful (allergen).
When allergens enter your body, your body starts releasing a substance called histamine. Histamine causes allergic reactions such as sneezing, congestion, itchy nose and sore throat.
Pollen, pet dander, mold and insects can lead to allergic rhinitis symptoms. Allergic rhinitis can make you feel terrible, but you can get relief with lifestyle changes, allergy medications, and immunotherapy (allergy shots).
What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?
- runny nose
- nasal congestion
- Cough and sneeze
- watery eyes
- Eye itching and redness
- Itchy throat or roof of the mouth
- runny nose
- itchy nose
- Sinus pressure and pain
- skin itching
Long-term symptoms of allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis symptoms often begin soon after exposure to a specific allergen. Having these symptoms for more than a few days can cause:
- ear congestion
- Sore throat
- ecreased sense of smell
- Darkening under the eyes
- Puffiness under the eyes
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis in infants and children
Allergic rhinitis is very common in children, although it rarely develops before the age of 3. But it is very important to treat allergy symptoms, especially in babies and children. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can develop into long-term conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or chronic ear infections.
Younger children may have more difficulty coping with allergic rhinitis symptoms. This disorder can affect their concentration and sleep pattern. Sometimes the symptoms are mistaken for a cold. But your child will not have a fever like a cold, and the symptoms will last for more than a few weeks.
What factors trigger the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis triggers and aggravates:
Mold spores and fungi
Changes in humidity
What is the cause of allergic rhinitis?
When you have allergic rhinitis, your immune system recognizes a harmless substance in the air as harmful. This substance is called an allergen. Your immune system secretes immunoglobulin antibodies to protect itself against allergens. The next time you come in contact with the allergen, these antibodies signal your immune system to release chemicals called histamine into your bloodstream. All these interactions lead to the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis risk factors
- Having other allergies or asthma
- Having a disease called atopic dermatitis or eczema that irritates and itches your skin.
- Having a blood relative with allergies or asthma
- Living or working in an environment that constantly exposes you to allergens.
- Exposure to smoke and strong odors that irritate the lining of the nose.
- Having a mother who smoked during the first year of your life.
- Before adolescence, allergic rhinitis is more common in boys, but after adolescence, girls are more affected.
Diagnosis of allergic rhinitis
To diagnose allergic rhinitis, your doctor will usually do a physical exam and talk about your health, symptoms, and possible triggers. Your doctor may recommend one or both of the following allergy tests:
Prick test (skin scratch): In this test, a small amount of substances that can cause allergies are injected into pieces of skin on your arm or upper back. You will then be monitored for an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to any of the allergens, a prominent bump (hives) will develop at the site of that allergen. This test usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Allergy blood test: A blood sample is sent to a lab to measure your immune system’s response to a specific allergen. This test measures the amount of antibodies created by the allergen
Allergic rhinitis drugs
Antiallergic drugs are the best option for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Medicines include the following:
These sprays help prevent and treat nasal congestion (congestion), itching and runny nose caused by allergic rhinitis. For many people, nasal sprays are the most effective allergic rhinitis medications and are often the first type of medication prescribed.
Nasal sprays include fluticasone (Flonase Allergy Relief), budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), triamcinolone (Nasacort 24-Hour Allergy), and mometasone (Nasonex 24-Hour Allergy).
Prescription nasal sprays that combine an antihistamine with a steroid include azelastine, fluticasone, mometasone, and olopatadine.
Side effects of these drugs can include unpleasant smell or taste and nasal irritation.
Antihistamines help relieve symptoms by blocking histamine. These medications can help with itching, sneezing, and a runny nose, but they have less of an effect on congestion. Antihistamines are usually prescribed as tablets (orally). However, there are also antihistamine nasal sprays that can relieve nasal symptoms.
Available oral antihistamines include loratadine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine.
Eye drops include olopatadine and ketotifen fumarate.
Over-the-counter nasal sprays include azelastine, and olopatadine is a prescription example of this drug.
Common side effects of antihistamines include dry mouth, nose, and eyes. Also, some oral antihistamines may make you sleepy. Other side effects of oral antihistamines can include restlessness, headaches, changes in appetite, sleep problems, and problems with blood pressure and urination.
Decongestants relieve nasal congestion and pressure caused by swelling. Because they do not relieve other symptoms of allergic rhinitis, they are sometimes combined with other medications such as antihistamines. Decongestants are available as syrups, tablets, and nasal sprays.
Oral decongestants include pseudoephedrine, and nasal decongestant sprays include phenylephrine hydrochloride and oxymetazoline.
Oral decongestants can cause a number of side effects, including increased blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, and headaches.
Cromolyn sodium can help relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis by preventing the release of histamine. This medicine is more effective if you start using it before symptoms appear. Cromolyn sodium is available as a nasal spray that should be used several times a day. Also available as eye drops. Cromolyn sodium has no serious side effects.
Leukotriene modifying drugs
Leukotriene modifiers are pills that are taken to prevent leukotrienes from working. Leukotrienes are immune system chemicals that cause allergy symptoms such as nasal irritation and excessive mucus production. This drug is especially effective in the treatment of asthma caused by allergies. Leukotrienes are often used when nasal sprays are not tolerated.
This product can cause headaches and, in rare cases, has been associated with psychological reactions such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Ipratropium, a prescription nasal spray, helps relieve severe runny nose by preventing the nasal glands from producing too much mucus. This medicine is not effective in treating congestion, itching or sneezing.
Mild side effects include dry nose, nosebleeds, sore throat, dryness and eye irritation. Rarely, this drug can cause more severe side effects such as blurred vision, dizziness, and difficulty urinating.
Immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis
Immunotherapy, also called desensitization, focuses on desensitizing you to allergens. We have reviewed some of the methods of immunotherapy below.
Allergy vaccines change the way the body’s immune system reacts to allergens. If medications don’t relieve your allergic rhinitis symptoms or cause too many side effects, your allergist may recommend allergy shots. During this treatment, you should receive regular vaccines containing small amounts of the allergen for 3 to 5 years. The goal is to get your body used to the allergens that cause symptoms.
If you are allergic to animal dander, dust, or pollen produced by trees, immunotherapy may be effective. In children, immunotherapy may help prevent asthma.
Sublingual antiallergic tablets
In this treatment, instead of injecting a vaccine, you take a small amount of allergen in pill form that dissolves in your mouth. Tablets are usually taken daily. Sublingual anti-allergy pills don’t work for all allergens, but they can be helpful for grass pollens and dust mites.
Lifestyle changes and home remedies for allergic rhinitis
Avoiding allergens completely is not possible, but you can reduce your symptoms by limiting your exposure to these substances. If you know what you are allergic to, you can avoid your triggers. Consider some of the following tips and tricks to overcome allergic rhinitis.
Nasal irrigation with salt for allergic rhinitis
Rinsing the nasal passages with salt is a quick and effective way to relieve nasal congestion. Washing removes mucus and allergens from your nose. A salt serum is a water-based solution that contains small amounts of salt and other substances. You can use this solution to wash your nose.
Eliminate pollen and mold
Pollens and molds are tiny particles found in plant manure. They float in the wind and can get into your nose and eyes. To avoid them, you can consider the following:
Close doors and windows during pollen season.
Do not hang laundry outside (pollen can stick to sheets and towels).
Use an allergy-grade filter in your home’s air conditioning system and replace it regularly.
Use a dust mask when cleaning the house or gardening.
Eliminate cockroaches and insects
Cockroaches leave small droppings that can be spread in the air. Getting rid of insects means getting rid of their excrement. Keep the following points in mind when it comes to killing insects:
Block any cracks that cockroaches can enter through.
Seal and repair leaky faucets and pipes.
Wash your containers daily and empty the trash and recyclables.
Store food, including pet food, in sealed containers.
Treatment of allergic rhinitis with herbal medicines
Certain plants have a natural antihistamine effect. To limit the effects of allergic rhinitis, choose green tea, chamomile, elderflower, ginger, peppermint and anise and drink these herbal teas throughout the day. They also help keep you hydrated, so choosing them is a win-win deal.
In addition to herbal teas, some edible substances are also effective in fighting this disorder. Garlic, capsicum, honey, vitamin C and fish oil have anti-allergic effects.
Complications of allergic rhinitis
Problems that may accompany hay fever include:
Decreased quality of life. Allergic rhinitis can reduce your enjoyment of activities and reduce your productivity. For many people, allergic rhinitis symptoms cause them to miss work or school.
bad dream. Allergic rhinitis symptoms can keep you awake or make it hard to stay asleep. This can lead to fatigue and lethargy.
Worsening of asthma. Allergic rhinitis can worsen asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
Sinusitis. Long-term sinus congestion due to allergic rhinitis may increase the risk of sinusitis.
ear infection. In children, hay fever is often the cause of middle ear infections.
Is there a way to prevent allergic rhinitis?
There is no way to prevent allergic rhinitis. If you have allergic rhinitis, the best thing to do is to reduce your exposure to the allergens that cause your symptoms. Take allergy medications as directed by your allergist before you are exposed to allergens.
You can also help prevent pollen from entering the nasal passages by rubbing a small amount of Vaseline inside the nostrils.
When should I see a doctor for allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis symptoms are almost not dangerous, but in the long run they can cause chronic diseases. In general, if you have any of the following, you should see an ear, nose and throat specialist:
Your symptoms last more than a week and are bothersome to you.
Have another condition, such as asthma, that makes your allergic rhinitis symptoms worse.
Allergic rhinitis occurs all year round.
Are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis seen in all seasons?
You can have allergic rhinitis at any time of the year. Seasonal allergies occur in the spring, summer, and early fall when trees and weeds are in bloom and pollen counts are high. Perennial allergies can occur year-round. They are caused by stimuli that are always around us.
Is allergic rhinitis contagious?
no Allergic rhinitis is caused by your immune system’s response to inhaled allergens. This disease is not caused by a virus or bacteria and cannot be contagious.
How long does allergic rhinitis last?
Allergic rhinitis lasts as long as you are exposed to the allergens (usually several weeks).
Is allergic rhinitis worse at night?
Since indoor allergens such as mattresses and blankets are the main cause of allergic rhinitis, allergic rhinitis symptoms are worse at night when you are trying to sleep.
What is the difference between allergy and allergic rhinitis?
An allergy occurs when the body considers any foreign substance or allergen as harmful and attacks it, causing reactions such as hives, rashes, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and sinus pressure. Allergic rhinitis is a type of allergy that occurs in response to specific allergens and usually lasts for months.
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