Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis 

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Allergic rhinitis is characterised by episodes of sneezing, rhinorrhoea and nasal obstruction.  Allergic rhinitis is associated with irritation of conjunctiva of eye – allergic conjunctivitis, exacerbation of asthma, otitis media, eustachian tube dysfunction, sinusitis and nasal polyps

When and why does allergic rhinitis occur? 

5.-Open-the-nasal-passage

Allergic rhinitis develops when an atopic individual is first exposed to certain airborne allergens such as pollens, fungal spores, animal hairs, dust mite etc. This gives rise to a number of immune reactions characterised by an increased level of immunoglobulin E (IgE). Upon a second exposure to the allergens, IgE activates mast cells to release inflammatory mediators such as histamines and leukotrienes. A reaction is then produced in the nasal mucosa, which causes sneezing, itching, congestion and rhinorrhoea.

How to improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis? 

Lifestyle changes 

  • Do not smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoke can trigger nasal allergies and make allergy symptoms worse.
  • Reduce ice cold drinks
  • Allergy testing – Identifying the source of allergens may improve nasal symptoms.  
  • Keep your environment free of irritants and allergens that can trigger sinus congestion, such as dust, mold, smoke, chemical fumes and animal hair. This includes
  • washing bed sheets weekly,images
  • keeping your pets out of your sleeping area,
  • cleaning the air con filter monthly and setting the air con temperature at no colder than 25 degrees Celsius.

 

Medications

  • Anti-histamines: Production of histamines by mast cells are the main cause of allergic symptoms upon exposure to allergens. Anti-histamines are prescribed to combat the symptoms of allergy and they are available in drowsy and non drowsy formulae.
  • Leukotriene modifiers (Singulair): reduce inflammation and symptoms of  allergic rhinitis by blocking the action of the leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are a type of chemical that your body releases after you have contact with an allergen. This release leads to inflammatory symptoms such as stuffy and runny nose.
  • Nasal corticosteroids are prescribed to reduce inflammation associated with allergies. Nasal corticosteroids are highly effective drugs for allergies, but they must be sprayed daily to be of benefit — even when you aren’t feeling allergy symptoms. In addition, it may take one to two weeks before the full benefit of the medicine can be felt.