There is a good chance that it is due to allergic rhinitis...
What is allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane, the symptoms of which are generally those of a cold, with nasal itching, sneezing, mucus and nasal congestion.
These symptoms, which may not seem serious at first, can cause considerable discomfort if they persist over time.
Moreover,they are almost always accompanied by conjunctivitis and very often influence the development of bronchial asthma. Many studies show that rhinitis affects daily life more than bronchial asthma.
What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?
The characteristics of allergic rhinitis are: itchy nose and eyes, heavy watery nasal discharge, stuffy nose, frequent sneezing.
These symptoms last a long time, are not accompanied by fever or general malaise and occur at a certain time of year (spring, fall).
Allergic rhinitis is characterized by a sudden onset that disappears completely with antihistamines or by avoiding contact with the allergen (a clear example would be a person allergic to dust mites who, upon opening old books or files, or shaking a mattress, begins to sneeze, etc.).
What causes allergic rhinitis?
In a very large number of patients, rhinitis is due to an allergy to an inhaled substance: dust mites, various pollens, fungi, animal epithelium or substances handled at work.
Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal or continuous. Seasonal rhinitis is caused by pollen. It usually appears in childhood and the degree of involvement varies according to the concentration of pollen.
There is a small percentage, especially in patients whose rhinitis has appeared in adulthood, in whom identical symptoms can be demonstrated but no sensitivity to any allergen. The cause is unknown.
Differences between catarrh and allergic rhinitis
The characteristics of allergic rhinitis are: itching of the nose and eyes, heavy watery discharge from the nose, blocked nose, frequent sneezing. These symptoms last for a long time, are not accompanied by fever or general malaise, and occur at a certain time of year (spring, autumn).
Above all, allergic rhinitis is characterized by a sudden onset that subsides completely with antihistamines or by avoiding contact with the allergen (a clear example is that of a person allergic to dust mites who starts sneezing when opening old books or files, or shaking a mattress, etc., and whose symptoms subside.
A cold, on the other hand, is a non-itchy,stuffy nose with a cooling secretion and a clogged nose.
How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?
Allergic rhinitis is diagnosed using a very simple skin test: drops containing a known amount of the allergen to which we may be sensitive are applied to the skin of the arm, these drops are pierced with a small lancet until the skin is perforated and the reaction is observed after 15-20 minutes. The basis of this technique is to reproduce on the skin the reaction we have in other parts of the body.
It is also possible to perform blood tests, in order to quantify and demonstrate more precisely the presence of antibodies specific to this allergen.
Molecular diagnosis of allergy using DNA chips is a diagnostic complement to skin tests and other in vitro diagnostic techniques.
In some cases, the patient does not have to undergo the inconvenience of skin testing against a large number of allergens and sensitization to different proteins, recombinant or purified natural proteins, which may be present in plant foods and pollens, in mites and crustaceans or in poultry and eggs, etc., can be differentiated
How is allergic rhinitis treated?
The overall treatment of allergic rhinitis is based on the following elements:
Avoidance of the allergen; patient education is important at this stage to try to minimize symptoms. It is important to cover the mattress with anti-mite covers which are very effective in trapping dust mite defecation which is the allergen to be avoided in the bedroom. Allergists also recommend the use of air purifiers with a HEPA filter and to close the windows especially during pollen periods.
Symptomatic pharmacological treatment.
Specific immunotherapy, which consists of the periodic administration of an extract to which the patient is allergic, for a period of 3 to 5 years, in order to reduce the degree of symptoms suffered by the patient.
We hope to have taught you more about allergic rhinitis and we wish you the best of luck in your life!
The Protech Allergies team.