Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the lining of the nose due to hypersensitivity to allergens.
Allergies can affect anyone, but you’re more likely if there is a history of allergies in your family. Having asthma or atopic eczema can also increase your risk of allergic rhinitis. Several external factors can trigger or worsen this condition, including: cigarette smoke, chemicals, cold temperatures , humidity, wind, air pollution, hairspray, perfumes, colognes, fumes
Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include: Sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose, coughing, sore throat, itchy eyes, watery eyes, frequent headaches, eczema-type symptoms, such as having extremely dry, itchy skin that can blister and weep, hives and excessive fatigue. Sinusitis and frequent ear infections are complications of allergic rhinitis, to name a few.
What are the treatment options for allergic rhinitis?
Avoidance of allergens of course is crucial in preventing allergic rhinitis Antihistamines, corticosteroid sprays and nasal decongestants are possible treatment options. Antihistamines help to treat allergies. They work by stopping your body from making histamine. Examples of antihistamines that can be purchased over the counter include desloratadine (Clarinex), loratadine (Claritin), levocetirizine (Xyzal) or cetirizine (Zyrtec). Nasal decongestants can be used over a short period, usually no longer than three days, to relieve a stuffy nose and sinus pressure. Types of nasal decongestants include oxymetazoline, pseudoephedrine etc. However nasal decongestants are contraindicated in several conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and a few others. Hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor first. Patients should also be warned that decongestant sprays are designed for short-term use and that overuse may cause a serious rebound syndrome called medicamentosa. Corticosteroids is another treatment option. They can help with inflammation and immune responses. These do not cause a rebound effect. Steroid nasal sprays are commonly recommended as a long-term and useful way to manage allergy symptoms. Apart from this, traditional herbal remedies can also be considered. One such remedy is Echinacea.
In a nutshell, allergic rhinitis is treatable and there are a number of treatment options available. Its advisable to consult your doctor first to help identify the allergens and to discuss your treatment options.