Your Health Online | Facing Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is a condition where the internal membranes of your nose are irritated by an allergen. These allergens can be anything, ranging from dust, pollen, and dander from animals.

About 20% of Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis. It can happen at early childhood, or during adulthood.

Even though is not a life threatening condition, the impact of allergic rhinitis is quite substantial. Millions of lost working hours annually are due to employees suffering from attacks of rhinitis.

Children also miss going to class because of the effects of rhinitis. Common medications that cure rhinitis induce sleepiness, further lengthening the number of lost hours for productive activities.

What causes allergic rhinitis?

There are different conditions that can make you prone or susceptible to allergic rhinitis. These conditions can be either internal or environmental factors.

** Genetics:
allergies are inherited. If your parents or siblings suffer from allergies, chances are you will get the same allergy. You have a bigger chance of having rhinitis if your mother suffers from the condition.

** Pollution:
pollution lessens your defense in fighting allergens. Those that live in the city are more prone to suffering allergic rhinitis compared to those who live in the country.

** Frequency of exposure:
constant exposure to an allergen can weaken your defense.

** Allergens:
dust, pollen, molds, and dander are common causes of allergic rhinitis. These substances produce an immune mediated response, causing the release of a chemical compound called histamine.

Histamine is responsible in producing the multitude of allergic reactions in the presence of an allergen.

What are the signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

Depending on how long you’ve had your condition, you will experience a variety of signs and symptoms that can indicate allergic rhinitis.

Early symptoms:

** Itchiness:
commonly felt inside the nose as it is the first body part that the allergen will come in contact with. Because of this, the nose will be red, with the person constantly twitching his nose in the attempt to lessen or relieve the irritation.

** Reduced or diminished sense of smell:
this is because the nerve endings found in your nose are also irritated by the allergen. Because of this, your sense of taste might be affected as well.

** Runny nose:
this is due to the allergen causing an over-production of mucous secretions in your nose

** Teary, red eyes:
your eyes will also be affected with the presence of the allergen. Your eyes will appear reddish because your conjunctiva will also be inflamed. Your lacrimal system in turn, will produce tears in an attempt to soothe the inflammation.

Late Symptoms

** Nasal congestion:
stuffy nose will then develop as the overproduction of mucous is not controlled. Your nose is producing just too much mucous for while having problems in removing it.

** Coughing and sore throat:
this is because of the presence of a condition called “post-nasal drip”. Your nose and throat are connected via the nasopharynx.

This is where the excess mucus will drain out of. This will cause throat irritation that can lead to coughing, which can be mistaken for asthma.

** Clogged ears:
in the same way your nose is connected the throat, your nose is connected to your ears via the Eustachian tube.

If the Eustachian tube is blocked, you will have the sensation as if your ears are stuffed with cotton. This stuffiness can eventually diminish your hearing to a certain degree.

** Fatigue and irritability:
this is because you are not sleeping well at night. Instead of breathing through your nose, you will sleep breathing through your mouth.

This will cause interrupted sleep, or breathing obstruction that will end up making you feel as if you haven’t slept at all.

What will be the treatment for allergic rhinitis?

Children with allergic rhinitis will eventually grow out of the condition. Adults will experience allergic rhinitis for a period of time before the symptoms totally subside.

Medications for allergic rhinitis are made to help you cope with the symptoms and will not help cure you.

** Anti-histamines:
the first line of medication against allergic reactions that are occurring in a short term as with hay fever. They can be taken orally and comes in two forms: one that can cause sleepiness for severe allergic reactions, and one that is lightly formulated that it will not cause any drowsiness.

** Corticosteroids:
they can be taken orally or by nasal spray. Problem with systemic corticosteroids is that they take a long time to produce an effect, and can cause insomnia.

With nasal corticosteroids, the drug only works on the target area, providing almost instantaneous relief from congestion and irritation.

** Nasal decongestants:
these medications are used only for a short duration of time for relief of nasal congestion. If you go beyond the stipulated duration, you will suffer rebound congestion, with is twice in severity as your previous condition.

** Allergy shots:
your physician will recommend allergy shots if conventional treatments fail to produce an adequate response or if the allergens are always present and cannot be avoided. This is given through a series of shots that gradually increase in dosage that will help your body fight against the allergen.

It can be relatively easy to control rhinitis without having it interfering with your quality of life.

Prompt and immediate intervention is necessary, as well as some minor lifestyle modifications can be done to lessen the severity and incidence of allergic rhinitis.

Consult with your physician so you can come up with adequate treatment measures to help you control allergic rhinitis.

Warren Tattersall has been a full time nutritional consultant for over a decade and works with people all over the world to help them improve their health, increase their personal energy levels and to use supplements to assist with diet related health issues.

To have a free personal consultation with him to learn how incorporating nutritional supplements may improve your health concerns just visit his site and download the free health report available there, or email to request a personal one-on-one consultation by email or phone.

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