People are known to be suffering from Allergy when they react to something that most other persons do not react to. So they seem to have a hyper reactivity to some outside agents.
Allergies can affect adults as well as children and it is very clear that the incidence of Allergic diseases is on the rise dramatically. This is very clearly evident from the fact that while some years ago Bronchial asthma in children was rare and unusual, it is a much more common occurrence today.
The reason for this may be because of the fact that immunization against infectious diseases as well as living in more hygienic conditions has reduced the incidence of infectious diseases to a great instance. This seems to have led to the rise of Allergies.
Patients of Allergic Rhinitis will complain of :
- clear watery nasal discharge
- nasal congestion
- nasal itching
- itching and watering of eyes
- post nasal drip
This usually follows exposure to the allergen which could be dust, house dust mite, pollen, flowering plants, dog fleas etc.
ALLERGIC RHINITIS AND BRONCHIAL ASTHMA
It is now clearly understood that Allergic Rhinitis and Bronchial asthma are closely linked to each other and are probably the same disease affecting different organs - that is why the concept of 'One Airway One Disease'.
Allergic Rhinitis must particularly be differentiated from Infectious diseases like Sinusitis and this can easily be done because patients suffering from Sinusitis are more likely to have Fever, Cheek pain, Headache, Thick purulent rhinorrhoea, post nasal drip etc.
Usually very little testing is required for Allergic Rhinitis and these could include simple blood tests to check your allergy levels. There is also a new simple (but expensive) blood test available which tests the patient's blood against a panel of allergens to see what it is he is allergic to.
The most important part of the treatment for Allergic rhinItis is ' Allergen Avoidance' - to avoid the allergen or the condition which leads to the symptoms.
Allergic Rhinitis is also managed by IntranIntranasalids and/or oral antihistamines as required. Please let your ENT Specialist determine the best course of action or you.
Surgery - Surgery is rarely an option specially for symptoms of nasal blockage caused by a turbinate enlargement.
Allergic Rhinitis is simple to diagnose and treat. If left untreated, apart from days lost to suffering, the allergy may 'march' to the lungs to cause Bronchial asthma or else lead to complications like Nasal Polyps or Sinusitis.
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