NASAL ALLERGY (ALLERGIC RHINITIS)
Allergic inflammation of mucous lining in the nose when in contact with allergens is called allergic rhinitis or nose allergy. Allergic rhinitis symptoms include nose congestion, sneezing, nose itch and swelling. Nose allergy treatment is usually performed conservatively, but recently another method gains more and more traction, which is immunotherapy. Below you will find more detailed information about the nature of this condition, its causes, treatment options and diagnostics services.
An allergic reaction can be triggered by harmless substances. Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is an allergy that’s triggered by certain allergens.
HOW IS A NOSE ALLERGY TRIGGERED?
Your body releases a compound called histamine when it detects an allergen. Histamines are natural chemicals that defend your body against potentially dangerous allergens, but can cause allergic rhinitis, which can have many uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose.
THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF NOSE ALLERGY (ALLERGIC RHINITIS) ARE:
- Pollen (from trees and flowers in the spring, and grasses and weeds in the summer and fall months)
- Animal dander (old skin)
- Cat saliva
Pollen is usually the biggest culprit, especially during specific times of the year.
ALLERGIC RHINITIS SYMPTOMS
The most common symptoms of nasal allergies are:
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Stuffy nose
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Dark under-eye circles
- Frequent headaches
- Eczema-type symptoms (extremely dry, itchy skin that often blisters)
- Hives (which are red and at times, cause itching) and bumps on the skin
- Excessive fatigue
NOSE ALLERGY TREATMENT OPTIONS
- Antihistamines: Commonly used to effectively treat a wide variety of allergies. It also helps to prevent symptoms from developing as they block histamine formation within the body. Over-the-counter versions can be convenient and effective. However, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking any new medication. Especially if you are already taking other types of medications or have 1 or more medical conditions.
- Decongestants: Used over a brief period to help relieve symptoms that make it difficult for you to breathe such as sinus pressure or a stuffy nose. It’s important to check in with your doctor before consumption, particularly if you have high blood pressure or genitourinary disease such as an enlarged prostate.
- Eye Drops and Nasal Sprays: These methods can be used to temporarily relieve itchiness and other allergy-related symptoms. However, it is not advised to use these products for a prolonged period of time.
IMMUNOTHERAPY (ALLERGY SHOTS)
Your doctor may prescribe immunotherapy if you’re struggling with severe allergy. This treatment minimizes your body’s immune response to particular allergens over time. It can be combined with medication to keep your allergy symptoms under control.
DIAGNOSING NASAL ALLERGY (ALLERGIC RHINITIS)
- Physical examination: Your doctor will ask about your symptoms during this physical exam and whether they change by time of day or season, and exposure to pets or other allergens.
- Skin testing: A common test is the skin prick test where your doctor will place a variety of substances onto your skin to determine how your body reacts to each of those substances. A small red bump will appear if you’re allergic to the substance.
- Blood test (radioallergosorbent test): The amount of immunoglobin E (IgE) antibodies to particular allergens that are present in your blood can be measured.