What is allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is a condition where the nose becomes inflamed by allergens, and is characterised by the presence of the typical symptoms of a cold such as sneezing, an itchy nose, stuffy nose or nasal congestion, mucus, and loss of smell.
What are the symptoms?
Allergic rhinitis generally causes symptoms which are similar to those of a cold, such as a blocked or runny nose, and sneezing or itching. These symptoms will come on soon after being exposed to the allergen. In some, these reactions are common all year round as a reaction to a particular allergen, while in others, these reactions are seasonal as the allergen only appears sporadically in the year, e.g tree pollen.
Over time, symptoms sometimes ease and improve, but it is unlikely that they ever completely disappear.
Causes of allergic rhinitis
The most common cause of allergic rhinitis is an allergy to a particular substance (i.e allergen), such as dust mites, pollen or the urine/saliva of certain animals.
Can it be prevented?
Allergic rhinitis can be avoided rather than prevented, by avoiding the allergen itself. In the case of pollen, for example, it is recommended to stay indoors, sleep with the windows closed and drive with the windows up.
What is the treatment?
Treatment of allergic rhinitis will be based on avoiding contact with the allergen itself. Depending on the case, appropriate medications should be administered (antihistamines, decongestants, allergy vaccines, etc).