Allergic Rhinitis is a condition associated with inflammation of the nasal passage that can cause a variety of symptoms in the throat, nose, ears, eyes, and skin. When you are affected by this syndrome, your immune system may identify a harmless substance as an allergen and automatically releases histamine and chemical mediators, which are responsible for defending the body. However, it may cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itching, and itchy eyes.
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis may be caused by allergens to which you are allergic. This condition is primarily caused due to seasonal changes when these allergens affect the environment.
- Perennial allergic rhinitis is triggered by common indoor allergens, including mold, spores, dust, mites, pet saliva and dander, roach particles, and droppings from dust mites.
Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms
When you come in contact with an allergen, two types of inflammatory cells are activated in your body. These include mast cells and basophils, which generate inflammatory substances that are associated with congestion. One such substance is histamine, which activates other inflammatory cells, causing persistent coughing, sneezing, and other symptoms.
Symptoms may result from certain irritants in the air, including strong odors, smoke, and even temperature and humidity changes. This is primarily due to the inflammation in the nasal lining caused by the allergic rhinitis, which makes you more sensitive to inhalants.
- Nose –Sneezing, blocked nasal passages, nasal itching, watery nasal discharge, loss of taste
- Throat and ears –Congestion or popping of ears, hoarse voice, sore throat, itching of ears/throat
- Eyes –Inflamed skin below eyes, itchy & red eyes
Some allergens are present all the year round. As a result, you may experience persistent symptoms, such as nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and poor quality sleep.
Allergic Rhinitis Risk Factors
Some substances can trigger the syndrome or make it even worse. The symptoms may vary from one person to another, since different people are allergic to certain substances. Such substances may include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Cold temperature
- Wood smoke
Those suffering from this condition may also be prone to allergic conjunctivitis. Additionally, the condition may make asthma symptoms worse. People with asthma are at a greater risk of getting hay fever or allergic rhinitis.
Allergic Rhinitis Diagnosis
You can identify the allergens and triggers by:
- Identifying potential allergens within your home environment
- Assessing the factors that precede the symptoms
- Keeping a track of the time the symptoms begin
Eosinophil count, which is a complete blood count test, is useful in diagnosing allergies.
For those individuals whose symptoms are not controlled with medications, skin tests may be useful. The best allergic rhinitis treatment is to avoid exposure to the allergens that provoke the condition. Nasal sprays can be used to manage the symptoms of sneezing, congestion, and postnasal drip. However, these sprays may leave a bad taste in the mouth. Some doctors may prescribe antihistamines, allergy shots, decongestants, and nasal steroid fluticasone to improve symptoms of the condition. Unfortunately, these drugs are also linked to some side effects that can trigger other conditions.
The best treatment for allergic rhinitis is to prevent the symptoms by avoiding your exposure to allergens.