What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Inflammation or irritation of the mucous membranes lining the nose, provoked by exposure of these membranes to external substances causing associated symptoms.

Main triggers of allergic rhinitis:

  • Pollen.
  • Dust particles.
  • Animal dander.
  • Cats.
  • Mold.
  • Some insect droppings, such as cockroaches.

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Itchy nose
  • Most patients have allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergy) manifesting as itchy and watery eyes.
  • One of the signs of allergic rhinitis are dark circles under the eyes.

Are there factors that may increase the risk of this allergy?

Allergic rhinitis can occur to any person. However, having a family member who suffers any type of atopy raises the risk of developing allergic rhinitis.

Diagnosis of allergic rhinitis:

Allergic rhinitis is diagnosed based on medical history and physical examination, and then tests are carried out to look for external allergens triggering the symptoms.

    The tests include:

  • a. Skin prick test: The skin is pricked in with small amounts of allergens. If the person suffers the allergy, the diagnosis is made through the appearance of a rash in the same place of prick.
  • b. Blood test: A test which measures the immune system response to allergens by measuring the antibodies to allergens in the blood known as IgE.

Treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Avoiding allergens, if possible. Using drugs that control the symptoms of the disease:

It is divided into three sections

  • 1- Avoiding allergens when possible.
  • 2- Using drugs that control the symptoms of the disease, including:
  • a. Antihistamines: an effective treatment for allergies, as they block the action of histamine in the body, and alleviate the symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and itchy nose in particular.
  • b. Decongestants: which are used with caution for a short period to avoid the resulting side effects. Decongestants are not recommended for patients with blood pressure, the elderly, pregnant women or people with mental illness.
  • c. Nasal corticosteroids: very effective to alleviate the four symptoms of
  • d. Eye Drops: which can be used in case of eye inflammation associating allergic rhinitis, taking into account that nasal corticosteroids sprays may also be effective in improving the symptoms of eye allergy.
  • e. Leukotriene receptor antagonists, such as Singulair (Montelukast): which are also available in the form of chewable tablets or granules taken orally.
  • e. Leukotriene receptor antagonists, such as Singulair (Montelukast): which are also available in the form of chewable tablets or granules taken orally.
  • 3- Immunotherapy: It depends on giving allergy shots to the patient. These shots decrease the immune response to specific allergens over time. Immunotherapy is the most effective available method to obtain long-term control of allergic rhinitis symptoms. Moreover, Immunotherapy may reduce the appearance of asthma in the future.

Complications of allergic rhinitis:

  • Sinusitis.
  • Adenoids
  • Otitis media with effusion.
  • Defects in the formation of teeth.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • • About 40% of allergic rhinitis patients also suffer asthma. Allergic rhinitis in children may preceded by asthma symptoms. Controlling symptoms of allergic rhinitis could help in controlling symptoms of asthma in children.