Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is an allergic reaction that occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens, leading to inflammation of the nasal passages. Here are key points about allergic rhinitis:

1. Allergens:

  • Common allergens include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds.
  • Other triggers can include mold spores, pet dander, dust mites, and certain foods.

2. Types of Allergic Rhinitis:

  • Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR): Symptoms occur during specific seasons when certain allergens are prevalent, such as spring or fall.
  • Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR): Symptoms persist throughout the year and are often triggered by indoor allergens.

3. Symptoms:

  • Sneezing: Frequent bouts of sneezing.
  • Runny Nose: Excessive nasal discharge.
  • Nasal Congestion: Blocked or stuffy nose.
  • Itchy Nose, Throat, or Eyes: Common symptom.
  • Watery Eyes: Excessive tearing.
  • Fatigue: Due to disrupted sleep caused by symptoms.

4. Diagnosis:

  • Diagnosis is typically based on a medical history, physical examination, and sometimes allergy testing (skin tests or blood tests) to identify specific allergens.

5. Treatment:

  • Allergen Avoidance: Minimizing exposure to known allergens.
  • Antihistamines: Medications that block histamine, a chemical released during an allergic reaction.
  • Nasal Corticosteroids: Sprays that reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.
  • Decongestants: Temporary relief from nasal congestion.
  • Allergy Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots): Gradual exposure to allergens to desensitize the immune system.
  • Leukotriene Modifiers: Medications that block inflammatory substances involved in allergic reactions.

6. Impact on Quality of Life:

  • Allergic rhinitis can significantly impact daily life, causing discomfort, sleep disturbances, and impaired concentration.

7. Association with Asthma:

  • Allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for the development and exacerbation of asthma.

8. Environmental Control:

  • Taking measures to reduce exposure to allergens, such as using air purifiers, washing bedding regularly, and keeping windows closed during peak pollen seasons.

9. Triggers Beyond Pollen:

  • Indoor triggers like pet dander, mold, and dust mites can also contribute to allergic rhinitis.

10. Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps: – In some cases, allergic rhinitis may be associated with chronic inflammation of the nasal passages and the development of nasal polyps.

11. Ongoing Management: – Allergic rhinitis often requires ongoing management, especially during peak allergen seasons.