WHAT IS ALLERGIC RHINITIS?
It is also known as Hay Fever.
It is an inflammation of nasal passage,characterized by sneezing,nasal congestion,nasal itching and discharge from the nose.
It occurs when our immune system over reacts to particles in the air that we breathe-we are allergic to them.Our immune system attacks the particles in our body and causing symptoms such as sneezing,runny nose.
There are 2 categories of allergic rhinitis:
Seasonal-Attacks occur during certain season ,especially in pollen season.
Perennial:Attacks are interspersed throughout the year.
CAUSES OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
During a process called sensitization our immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless airborne substance as something harmful.Our immune system then starts producing antibodies to this harmless substance.The next time when we come in contact with the substance these recognize it immune system release chemicals such as histamine into our blood stream,causing a reaction that leads to the irritating signs and symptoms of hay fever.
- Outdoor molds
- House dust mites
- Wood dust
- Exposure to certain animals
- Smoke,pollution and strong smells
Other factors are:
-Weather-hot,dry,windy days are more likely to trigger the condition than cold damp weather.
-Genetics-Heredity seems to play an important role in allergic disease.
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
- Post nasal drip
- Eyes red,swollen
Chronic cases of allergic rhinitis may develop
- Sinus headache
- Blocked ears
- Nasal polyp
- Eyelid swelling
DIAGNOSIS OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
Firstly a Personal and family medical history is taken by the doctor.
Following tests are done:
1.Skin prick test-In this small amount of triggering material is pricked into the skin and observed the signs of allergic reaction.
2.Allergy blood test-Radioallergosorbent test(RAST) can measure the immune system’s response to a specific allergens.
3.Intradermal tests-The allergen extract is injected between layers of skin.
TREATMENT OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
Nasal corticosteroid like Flonase,Triamcinolon,Nasonex
Antihistamines like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl),Loratidine,Cetrizine
Decongestant like Sudafed and Drixoral,nasal spray like Phenylephrine,Oxymetazoline
Rinsing the sinuses
The medications target the body’s immune system whereby it reduces the hypersensitivity to the allergens.Over a period of time,the patient reacts less aggressively to the allergens and gradually the hypersensitivity is cured.