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Allergic Rhinitis Overview:

This condition is also known as Hay Fever and it is usually caused by allergens like pollens and other substances. The most common symptoms of the condition include sneezing and runny nose accompanied by coughing and watery eyes. Some people also experience frequent headaches and get tired excessively during this stage. The main cause for the disease is the chemical known as histamine this released in the body to fight against the allergen. You can get this condition due to grass pollen, mould, and even dust mites. When external symptoms are not clear, a blood test is done to diagnose the problem and further treatment is given to cure the condition. It can be easily treated without too many complications and you will get back to your normal health within a few weeks.

 

Types of Allergic Rhinitis:

- Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: This condition occurs only during a particular season. In most cases, it happens during the spring season when pollens are released in huge quantity and wind carries them to different locations. Many people are allergic to such substances and they can easily catch the symptoms within a few hours after getting in touch with the allergens.

- Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: This can happen at any time of the year and it is usually caused due to various allergens. It is common for people to become allergic to dust mites and other substances like mould and this can happen at any time. Most patients develop symptoms after a few hours after getting in touch with such substances.

 

Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis:

-  When you have hay fever, you are most likely to suffer from nasal congestion and this is a common symptom among most of the patients.

-  Apart from that, you may also have a runny nose at this time and this will be accompanied by frequent bouts of sneezing due to an allergic reaction.

-  All these symptoms lead to the accumulation of mucus in the chest region and it can cause a cough and other related symptoms.

-  Some people also experience watery eyes and this can also cause redness and itchiness in many cases.

-  The tip of the nose or the lower portion of the nose becomes itchy and it can even turn to red colour due to constant wiping of that region. You can even face itchiness in the throat region and the inside of your mouth.

-  This can lead to fatigue as the oxygen intake of the body reduces due to a blocked nose.

-  It can also cause a headache in many people due to nasal congestion as sufficient oxygen will not be supplied to the brain in this condition.

-  You may even develop dark circles around the eyes when you are suffering from hay fever. However, this is a temporary condition and it will go away after you are cured in a few weeks.

-  Some people also experience symptoms that are similar to eczema and the skin becomes itchy in this situation.

-  You will usually notice the symptoms immediately after coming into contact with the allergens.

 

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Causes of Allergic Rhinitis:

-  It is normal for our body to come into contact with pollens and other allergens on a regular basis. However, everyone does not develop hay fever as only a few people have an adverse response to such substances. In such cases, the body tries to block the allergens from getting into the body and causes nasal congestion and other symptoms. It can inflame the nasal lining and lead to all the symptoms of hay fever. The body releases histamine to counter the allergens. However, the allergens are not harmful by nature and it is the excessive dosage of histamine released by our body that causes this condition.

-  Genetics is also a major reason for getting hay fever and most people have a family history of allergic reactions to such substances. In this way, your chances of getting this allergic rhinitis increases when you have someone in your immediate family who is allergic to such substances.

-  Apart from that, other health conditions like eczema and asthma can increase your chances of getting this disease. Your body will have less tolerance for such allergens when you are suffering from asthma and it will react aggressively whenever pollens or dust mites are inhaled by the body.

-  Grass pollens are the major cause of this condition especially during the spring season and this affects many people. If you are allergic to grass pollen, it makes sense to stay away from outdoor activities during this season as this will help you to prevent hay fever.

-  If you are having pets at home or you move too closely with animals, you are likely to get hay fever. This is due to the dead skin of animals that get removed often and these small particles can become allergens for some people.

-  In the same manner, most people are allergic to mould and this can be formed in your home. As soon as it becomes airborne or you touch it, you are likely to get affected and your body will start releasing histamine to fight against those allergens. This leads to hay fever and you need to keep your living area free from the mould as it can cause severe infection.

-  Some people are also allergic to cat saliva and this can trigger hay fever in them. You need to stay away from such pets when you have a tendency to getting hay fever.

 

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Diagnosis of Allergic Rhinitis:

-  The diagnosis for allergic rhinitis is done in three stages and the first one begins with a physical examination. Your doctor will carefully observe the symptoms and it will be obvious in most cases. This will help them to begin the treatment for this condition in quick time and you will get relief from symptoms.

-  After the physical examination is completed, your doctor may even do a simple skin test to determine if you are affected with some allergens. This will help the doctors to know the reaction of your body to certain common allergens. In this method, sample allergens are inserted into your body by pricking them through small tubes. Your body may respond immediately with the symptoms of rashes and other patches on the skin surface. This gives them a fair idea about the presence of allergens in your body.

-  Finally, you may be asked to take a blood test that will check if your body is producing any antibodies to fight against the allergens. Based on the other symptoms, it becomes easy to determine hay fever in patients by conducting this test.

 

Prevention of Allergic Rhinitis:

- The simple thing you can do to prevent allergic rhinitis is to stay away from allergens that are known to cause this condition in your body. If you have a history of pollen allergy, it makes sense to stay away from them during the peak season. Apart from that, you should also maintain proper hygiene and keep your surroundings clean so that you can avoid mould and dust mites in your home.

- The next thing you can do is to build your immunity and this will help you to avoid hay fever. Remember that this condition is the result of the overreaction of your body to the harmless allergens. When your body is already used to small doses of such allergens on a regular basis, it will stop reacting or react with less intensity.

- Along with these precautionary measures, you should also make it a point to eat healthy food and exercise regularly so that you will have a good immune system. In this way, your body will be able to defend the allergens without producing wild reactions and you can get relief from the symptoms of hay fever.

 

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Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis:

 It is very easy to treat allergic rhinitis with OTC medication. However, it makes sense to get in touch with your doctor and get the suitable medication prescribed as this will give better results in the long run. Apart from that, you should also limit your exposure to outdoor areas when you are prone to getting such allergies.

- Nasal corticosteroids:  this can give you relief within a few days and you can easily get them from your doctor. It is generally very safe to use for adults and you will not have any problems with regular usage. There are not many side effects of using this treatment and you will get good relief from symptoms.

Antihistamines: These pills are used to reduce the symptoms of hay fever and you can expect quick relief in this manner. It can stop the nasal congestion and you will also feel a reduction in a headache when you use these pills. However, you need to be aware that this can make you feel drowsy and you should not use them beyond the prescribed limit. You should also avoid them during daytime as this can interfere with your everyday activities.

Decongestants: this is the best choice when you are suffering from nasal congestion and it can clear your nose in quick time. It is available in pills form and you can also choose to use the sprays that will be very effective and provide immediate relief. Some eye drops are also available that will reduce the redness and itchiness of your eyes when you are suffering from hay fever. However, it is not advisable to use them for more than a couple of days as it can aggravate the symptoms in the long run.

Immunotherapy:  In this body, your body is ingested with small doses of allergens and this will help your body to build immunity to such substances. It can only be used for certain allergens and it has to be used under proper medical supervision. Your doctor will consider your overall health condition and prescribe such medication to boost your immunity.

 

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Complications of Allergic Rhinitis:

- The biggest complication to arise out of hay fever is lack of sleep and this can lead to severe fatigue in most cases. You will not feel like working and this means that you will have to miss out on your everyday activities due to this condition for many days.

- If you are already suffering from asthma or any other breathing problems, it can worsen the symptoms when you are having hay fever. This can cause severe wheezing and it calls for immediate medical treatment. Some people also experience severe coughing due to this condition.

-  Having hay fever makes you prone to sinusitis and other breathing problems. This happens due to the inflammation of the mucus region and it aggravates the symptoms of sinusitis in many people.

-   Children suffering from hay fever also develop an ear infection and this can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in them for many days.

 

Myths about Allergic Rhinitis

Myth #1: Allergic rhinitis affects only kids

This is completely false and it can affect anyone irrespective of age criteria. Even adults get equally affected by this condition and the body does not become immune to such allergens with age.

Myth #2: Allergic rhinitis is the same as the common cold

this is not true and both of them are completely different even though they display similar symptoms. While common cold goes away on its own within a few days, allergic rhinitis will trouble you for a longer duration and you may need medication to get treatment for this condition.

Myth #3:   Allergic rhinitis can cause serious complications:

 It does not cause serious complications in most people. Only people suffering from breathing problems can get some complications that will increase their symptoms and normal people will not notice any major complications due to this condition.

 

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Conclusion

This condition affects millions of people all over the world and there is no need to worry too much about this problem. Your body will be able to handle most of the symptoms and you may not even need treatment unless the symptoms are severe. It is also easy to get treatment and you can also try to boost your immune system in a natural way so that you will be able to prevent this condition in the future. If you notice any symptoms for more than few days, you can approach your doctor and take the suitable medication to get relief from the symptoms of this condition.

 

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Last updated on : 26-10-2018
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