Allergic Rhinitis

Diseases

Title: Allergic Rhinitis
Date: 
27 Feb 2012
 
ALLERGIC RHINITIS
 

WHAT IS ALLERGIC RHINITIS?

Allergic rhinitis is a form of nasal allergy. The causes of the allergy include air-borne pollen, dust, mould, foods like prawn, crabs and squid, house mites and animal (cat and dog) dander. 

Allergens stimulate white blood cells in the blood and tissues to release histamine into the circulation. This causes fluid to leak from blood vessels into the tissues of the nasal passageways, leading to nasal congestion symptoms.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS? 

  • Sneezing

  • Itchy nose, throat, ears and mouth

  • A running nose and/or blocked nose

  • Puffy, itchy, watery and red eyes

  • Decrease sense of smell and taste

  • Excess mucus accumulates in the throat, causing a cough

Allergic rhinitis symptoms are often worse in the morning and on windy days (when air-borne pollen levels are highest). People who have allergic rhinitis often also suffer from other allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema (an itchy skin rash) or hives (itchy, lumpy skin).

 

 

SELF CARE GUIDE 

  • If your eyes are itchy, red and irritated, rinse your eyes with cool, clean water or artificial tears.

  • Use saline solution to irrigate your nose to soothe allergies by removing irritants that are lodged in the nose.

  • Soak a cloth in warm water and place it over your face to soothe the congested and painful nose.

  • Have enough sleep – being tired may make symptoms worse.

  • Maintain good health practices: exercise daily, stop smoking, avoid other air pollutants, and eat a balanced diet

  • Wear sunglasses on windy days to protect the eyes from any airborne allergens.

  • Try to avoid extra irritants such as smoke and chemical fumes.

 

OTHER USEFUL TIPS

  • Keep air conditioners and filters clean

  • Remove house and garden plants that trigger allergic reactions

  • Wear a mask when mowing lawns or house-cleaning

  • Clean your house regularly preferably using damp cloth and vacuum cleaner instead of sweeping

  • Remove dust collectors such as carpets, dried flowers and upholstered furniture

  • Don’t allow dander-producing animal (i.e. cats, dogs, etc.) in the house

  • Use low- allergy bedding products, preferably synthetic material

 

TREATMENT

SELF MEDICATION GUIDE- Medication for Allergic Rhinitis

(please click on the medication name below for further information):

¨      Cetirizine

¨      Chlorpheniramine

¨      Diphenhydramine syrup

¨      Loratadine

¨      Mometasone nasal spray

 

WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR?

Consult a doctor if any of the following symptoms occur with your allergy symptoms. These symptoms may indicate bacterial infection.

  • High temperature

  • Earache

  • Swollen glands in the neck

  • Yellow or creamy discharge from the nose or eyes

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing

  • Persistent cough

 

REFERENCES 

1.    Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov

2.    Website: http://www.emedicinehealth.com

  1. Health and Research A to Z, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Mac 2010Pharmacy Self Care Health Information, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, November 2008.