Allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis
Allergic rhinitis is allergic inflammation of the nasal passages. It is triggered when you breathe in something you are allergic to, such as dust, animal dander, or pollen.
An allergen is something that triggers an allergy. When a person with allergic rhinitis breathes in an airborne allergen the body releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
Plants that can cause seasonal allergies are
Their pollen is carried by the wind. Types of plants that cause hay fever change from area to area.
Airborne allergens are:
- Pollens from trees, grasses, weeds
- Cockroaches and dust mites
- Animal dander
Symptoms can be:
- Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat, skin
- Problems with smell
- Post-nasal drip
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Clogged ears and decreased sense of smell
- Sore throat
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Puffiness under the eyes
Exams and tests
Allergy testing (skin or blood) may reveal the airborne allergens that trigger your symptoms. These tests, known as IgE tests, can measure the levels of allergy-related substances specific for allergens to which you may be allergic.
Ways to stay away from allergens
The best treatment is for you to not be near the allergens that cause your symptoms. You may not be able to stay away from all allergens. You can take steps to lower your exposure, such as:
- Use an air conditioner and keep windows shut
- Use dust mites encasements for mattress and pillow
- Use HEPA filters
- Keep animals out of the bedroom.
Nasal sprays and washes
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays are the best treatment for allergic rhinitis. Use them often and on a schedule.
- Antihistamine nasal sprays work well when used with nasal steroids.
- You can buy a saline solution at a drug store or you can make one at home.
- Use 1 cup (240 milliliters) of warm water, half a teaspoon (3 grams) of salt, and pinch of baking soda.
- This is good to use this right before you use nasal sprays.
- Many antihistamines taken by mouth can be bought without a prescription.
- Leukotriene inhibitors are prescription medicines that block leukotrienes, which is a chemical. It can also trigger symptoms, like histamine.
- Do not use nasal decongestions for more than 3 days. These medicines can make symptoms worse over the long term.
- You may need allergy shots (immunotherapy) if you cannot stay away from the allergen and medicines do not help your symptoms.
- You may get shots of the pollen you are allergic to. This can help change your immune system response to an allergen and lower or get rid of your symptoms.
- Sublingual immunotherapy tablet is a medicine you put under your tongue. It may help for grass, ragweed, and dust mite allergies.