What happens when you have allergy?
Our body has a defence system to fight disease and protect itself. This defence system is called the immune system. When harmful things such as germs (example: bacteria or viruses) enter your body, the immune system recognises them as enemy and attacks.
But sometimes your immune system gets confused about what is the enemy and what is not. It reacts to harmless things like dust, the hair of animals, the pollen from plants and trees and sometimes even certain food items.
Allergy can affect various parts of the body such as the skin, eyes and nose.
What is Allergic rhinitis?
An allergy that affects the nose is called Allergic rhinitis or allergic rhinitis.
It occurs when you breathe in something that you are allergic to, like dust, smoke, dander or pollen. These are called allergens/ triggers.
What are the symptoms of Allergic rhinitis?
When an allergy affects your nose, you sneeze a lot, there is itching in the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth, your nose gets runny and blocked and your eyes keep watering.
These are the symptoms of Allergic rhinitis.
If these symptoms occur during particular seasons of the year, it is called Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR). If it occurs all year round, it is termed as Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR).
Is it Allergic rhinitis or Common Cold?
Allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens, where as a cold is caused by germs. Both these problems can make you sneeze, and make your nose run and feel blocked and itchy. But there are some signs that can help to tell the difference. It is probably a Allergic rhinitis if:
- You do not have fever and body ache.
- The mucus in your nose is clear and runny, not yellow or green and thick.
- You sneeze many times before the sneezing attack stops.
- Your nose, ear or throat feels itchy.
- Your eyes water a lot.
- These problems stay longer than a typical cold.
How to control Allergic rhinitis?
It’s best to avoid the allergens/ triggers that cause your allergic symptoms. While it may be impossible to completely avoid all your triggers, you can certainly take steps to reduce your exposure to them.
Allergic Rhinitis triggers and how to control them
|Avoid exposure to furry (hairy) animals. If you have a pet, keep it out of your bedroom.|
|If there are patches of mould (fungus) on any walls of your house, get rid of it by cleaning with a mild solution of bleach|
|Do not smoke, and do not allow smoking in your home.|
What is the treatment for Allergic rhinitis?
There are many different medicines available to treat Allergic rhinitis. Your doctor will prescribe the one that is right for you depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, your age, and whether you have any other illness. Here are some treatments used to control Allergic rhinitis:
They work well for treating allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are available as tablets, syrups and Nasal Sprays.
Nasal corticosteroid sprays are the most effective and safest treatment for Allergic rhinitis.
They may be helpful in reducing symptoms such as nasal congestion. However, Nasal Spray decongestants should not be used for more than 3 days.
Specific illnesses that are caused by allergies (such as asthma and eczema) may require other treatment.
What happens if you don’t treat Allergic rhinitis?
Please take Allergic Rhinitis seriously and treat it properly on time, or it could lead to nasal polyps, sinusitis, conjunctivitis and even worsening of asthma.
Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma
There is a strong association of asthma and allergic rhinitis. People with allergic rhinitis complain of frequent bouts of colds with sneezing and runny nose. About 70% of people who have asthma also have allergic rhinitis, since the nose is an extension of the respiratory tract. Thus it is important to diagnose and treat allergic rhinitis in order to control asthma better.
It is important that you take your allergic rhinitis seriously because if it is not treated on time the asthma could get worse and cause other complications like ear infections, sinusitis and nasal polyps….Do visit your doctor to get the correct treatment.
If you show any symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis like sneezing, a stuffy or itchy nose, nasal discharge, itching in the throat or ear, do not ignore your condition. Please consult your doctor for the right treatment.
Why is Nasal Spray more effective in controlling Allergic rhinitis?
The world over, Nasal Sprays are proven to be better than other forms of treatment like pills for Allergic rhinitis. Why? When you have a problem with your eye, you put drops in your eye. When you have a problem with your skin you rub an ointment or cream on your skin. You put the medicine exactly where it is needed. The same way, for Allergic rhinitis, a Nasal Spray delivers the medicine directly and quickly exactly where it is required, which is the nose. Besides, when you use a Nasal Spray less dose of the drug is required, which means there are fewer side effects, and thus it is safer.
How does a Nasal Spray work?
Since Allergic rhinitis is a condition where there is inflammation, an anti-inflammatory drug is required. A Nasal Spray has nasal steroids which are anti-inflammatory drugs that can control the inflammation. Don’t worry, these nasal steroids are not harmful because they are a copy of the steroids that are produced naturally in our bodies. Thus they are a very safe and effective treatment for Allergic rhinitis. When used in the long term, they effectively control the symptoms with minimum recurrence.