Have you ever sneezed nonstop, having difficulty in breathing through your nose and dripping mucous over an exposure to something like dusts while cleaning your room or pollens while doing your doing your gardening? This must be a form of allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is also called “hay fever”. From the word itself, allergic means induced by an allergy, and rhinitis meaning an inflammation of the nasal passageway. Both should be present to be able to qualify as an allergic rhinitis.
What are the Predisposition or the Risk factors
a. Those with asthma, migraine, eczema, depression
b. Those with relatives or parents with allergic rhinitis since allergy may run genetically
c.Those living in rural areas wherein trees, grasses and pollens
d.Those living in a highly polluted and heavily dusted urban areas.
What are Types of Allergic Rhinitis
a. Perennial- Allergic rhinitis that persists throughout the whole year. This type is usually seen in children.
b. Seasonal- Allergic rhinitis that exacerbate or attack in specific season, more specially the haying season wherein pollens of seasonal plants abound
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
1. itchy nasal airway 2. post nasal drip 3. sneezing 4 watery eyes 5. rhinorrhea 6. nasal obstruction
What are the Treatments for Allergic Rhinitis?
The treatment of the allergic rhinitis depends on the extent of the allergy. Some may require a conservative management by taking medications and avoiding allergens, and some may require a more aggressive management especially for serious cases.
1. Antihistamines- Antihistamines are anti- allergies. They stop the overreacting immune response to the allergens thereby supressing the symptoms. Examples include Benadryl and Cetirizine.
2. Decongestant- With inflammation of the nasal airways, breathing is more difficult. Decongestants opens up the airways and helps to stop the mucous from plugging it.
3. Nasal Sprays- Nasal sprays are either decongestant or steroids. Decongestants help you breath more comfortably after a minute of spraying (e.g. Drixine), and steroids supress inflammation that is effective 12 to 24 hours when sprayed regularly (e.g. Flixotide, Nasonex).
4.Steroids- Oral steroids may be given to supress too much reaction of the nasal mucosa to the allergen and promotes healing of the irritated tissue (e.g. Prednisone). In some cases, immunotherapy or “allergic shots” may be given.
For those who have developed nasal polyps out of prolonged allergic rhinitis, surgery to remove those growth may be needed.