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Allergies and Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is nasal irritation caused by an allergic reaction. This makes it somewhat different than chronic rhinitis which occurs frequently and for prolonged periods of time. Allergic Rhinitis is practically the same thing as Hay Fever, because it frequently occurs as a result of seasonal allergies

Causes

An allergic reaction that leads to this type of rhinitis is most frequently caused by airborne allergens. These allergens can be either seasonal allergens, or indoor allergens. The most common types of allergens that cause this type of irritation are listed here:

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  • Grass Pollen
  • Tree Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • VOCs (Chemicals)
  • Pet Dander

Symptoms

Since it is caused by airborne allergens, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are the same as any seasonal allergy symptoms. These include all of the common ones such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Post Nasal Drip

Since Rhinitis technically means irritation of the nose, the above symptoms are only nose related. However, allergens that cause allergic rhinitis tend to also several other symptoms elsewhere in the body including:

  • Red Eyes
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Watery Eyes
  • Skin Irritation
  • Constricted Airways
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty Breathing

Symptoms including difficulty breathing, or wheezing can be an indication of a more severe allergic reaction aside from just irritation of the nasal passages. If you are experiencing any difficulty breathing, you should consult a doctor immediately. You may be experiencing asthma, or other breathing problems that can be life threatening if left untreated.

Treatment

Because allergic rhinitis is practically the same thing as saying "allergies" the treatments are going to be no different than treating seasonal allergies. Some of the most common, and easiest treatments are summarized below. However, for a more thorough explanation of each treatment type, click the link to go the specific page.

Antihistamines: Antihistamines can be used to prevent the onset of an allergic reaction if taken in before you are exposed to the allergens. If you expect to be going outside on a day in which pollen levels are high, you should take an antihistamine in advance.

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Air Purifiers: Air Purifiers can be used indoors to reduce the frequency of allergy attacks from indoor allergens. Dust, dust mites, chemicals, and pet dander can all contribute to indoor allergic rhinitis. Many of these particles are microscopic, and are therefore airborne in your home for long periods of time. An air purifier is a great way to remove dust & allergens from your air so it does not cause irritation.

Regular Cleaning: You should always clean regularly indoors to remove other indoor allergens from accumulating. Vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning up pet hair and pet dander off of the floor, furniture, or beds should be done to prevent an allergic reaction when you are interacting with these surfaces day to day.

Hay Fever Treatments: See this page for a more thorough list of Hay Fever Treatments that are also practical for relieving rhinitis.

Rhinitis Prevention

There are a number of practical steps you can take to help prevent your rhinitis from occurring. Most of the ones discussed on this page are used for allergy prevention and awareness.