Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic-induced inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose is called allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis occurs when allergens adhere to the airway mucosa in the nose and initiate inflammatory reactions. When the immune system first encounters the allergen that enters the body, no clinical findings occur because when the allergen is first encountered, specific antibodies against this substance are not produced. On the first contact, these special antibodies are produced, and on the second contact, the immune system reacts to this situation and thus allergy symptoms occur. It is manifested by sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion, and mostly itchy eyes, nose and palate are experienced. It can occur at any age. It lasts for a lifetime, but its effect decreases in advanced ages. Allergic rhinitis is usually seen in people with a predisposition to allergies. People with a family history of allergic rhinitis are also more likely to have it. Other allergic diseases (eczema, urticaria, asthma) are also more common in these people.

There are two types of allergic rhinitis;

– Seasonal allergic rhinitis: It is known as hay fever among the people. It occurs in certain seasons throughout the year and is caused by external allergens. In dry and windy weather, the amount of pollen is high and the incidence increases during these times. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is caused by tree pollens, especially in spring.

– Perennial allergic rhinitis that occurs throughout the year: This allergic rhinitis, called perrenal rhinitis; house dust and mites, nutritional allergens (dyed drinks and food), animal dander, mold, cockroaches and various chemicals. Feeding animals such as dogs, cats and birds at home increases the severity of the allergy.

Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis and colds are similar. However, while the common cold is caused by a virus, allergic rhinitis is not caused by a virus. If the symptoms do not include fever and a thin, liquid runny nose, it is allergic rhinitis. But if the runny nose is more yellow, if there is pain in the body and if there is a fever, this is a symptom of a cold. While allergic rhinitis starts immediately after contact with the allergen, it occurs a few days after the flu virus is infected. While the common cold is a short-term illness, allergic rhinitis continues as long as you are exposed to the allergen.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis are as follows;

– Eyes watering and itching

– Runny nose and nasal congestion

– sneezing

– Postnasal drip

– Itching in the throat, nose and upper palate

– Swelling of the under-eyes and eyelids, dark circles under the eyes

– Throat ache

– Cough

– Pressure in the sinuses (pressure feeling) and facial pain

– Headache

– Smell and taste disorders

– Partial hearing loss

– Fatigue and sleep disturbance

– Taking the hands to the nose and itching, which is frequently encountered especially in pediatric diseases

Allergic Rhinitis Treatment

The treatment of allergic rhinitis is aimed at relieving the complaints and this situation cannot be eliminated with treatment. The most important factor in the diagnosis of this disease is the patient’s history. For diagnosis, it first examines the symptoms seen in the patient. It is questioned in which season, when the symptoms are encountered, and how they occur. Ask if anyone in their family has this disease. During the physical examination, the patient’s nasal mucosa is examined at other points. There are many diagnostic tests, such as the antibody IgE test, for the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis. Among these tests, allergy tests applied to the skin are the most commonly used methods. However, even if these tests are negative, the symptoms seen in the patient may be sufficient for the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis.

In the treatment of allergic rhinitis, avoidance of allergens that trigger the symptoms and drug therapy are important. In drug treatment, antihistamines that reduce the effect of the allergen and nasal sprays containing cortisone are usually used. Antihistamine drugs help reduce symptoms such as itching, sneezing and discharge. In addition to drug therapy, vaccination with an allergen is also possible. Since this method will be applied to people with suitable conditions and allergens for application, it must be done by an expert. In addition to all these treatment methods, surgical treatment may be considered appropriate in some cases. Surgical treatment is performed for problems such as nasal flesh and sinusitis and polyps caused by allergies. By surgically removing the edematous and polypized tissues that block the nasal airflow, contact with the allergen and the mucous membrane is reduced, but at the same time, the allergen is eliminated from the body along with the mucus.

What to Do for Those with Allergic Rhinitis

– People with allergic rhinitis should stay away from dusty and pollen environments.

– Doors and windows should be kept closed when there is seasonal pollen. Due to the drying of the air in the houses with central heating, attention should be paid to the cleanliness of the air in the room and air humidifiers should be available.

– Air conditioner filters should be changed regularly.

– Avoid feeding furry animals and plants at home.

– Items such as carpets and rugs that may contain dust should not be kept in the house.

– Cotton and synthetic products should be preferred. Especially furry and woolen products trigger allergic rhinitis more.

– Do not smoke and stay away from smoking environments.

– Exercise should be done regularly every day.

– You should eat a balanced diet and take care to consume foods rich in vitamins.

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