Consultant Pulmonologist MBBS, MD Pulmonary Medicine
Published on: 30/06/2022
Allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is an allergic reaction that causes cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, sinus pressure and sneezing. Hay fever can be excruciating, but it is treatable with lifestyle changes, allergy medicines, and immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Allergic Rhinitis can also affect the overall performance at work or school and generally interferes with the life, but you don't have to put up with the annoying symptoms.
Let’s know the symptoms and find the right treatment:
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Nasal stuffiness (congestion)
- Headaches and sinus pain
- Increased mucus in the throat and nose
- Itchy nose, throat and eyes
- Wheezing, coughing and trouble breathing
- Sore throat caused by mucous pouring down the throat (postnasal drip)
What causes allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?
Allergic rhinitis develops when the immune system responds to an irritant in the air. The allergens (irritants) are so little that people can readily inhale them through the mouth or nose.
Allergens are mostly harmless. However, if people have hay fever, the immune system perceives the allergen as an intruder. By releasing natural substances into the bloodstream, the immune system attempts to protect the body. As the mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and throat work to eject the allergen, they become inflamed and itchy.
Can allergic rhinitis (hay fever) be prevented?
Although there is no way to prevent hay fever, lifestyle changes and prevention can help people cope with allergies. Avoiding irritants as much as possible can help to alleviate hay fever symptoms. To reduce symptoms, one should:
- Avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes or nose.
- Keep pets away from couches and beds
- Reduce the number of allergens in the air by using filters in the vacuum cleaner and air conditioner.
- Wash hands thoroughly, especially after interacting with pets.
- When you're outside, wear a hat and sunglasses to protect the eyes from pollen.
Hay fever might make people uncomfortable, but it does not cause major health problems. Most people with hay fever control their symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medicines.
Did you know?
People who have airborne allergies are more likely to get sinus infections and ear infections. Because hay fever can make it difficult to sleep, people may feel fatigued during the day. If someone has asthma, hay fever can aggravate the symptoms.
Hay fever symptoms might affect the quality of life and prevent people from participating in any activities, but there are effective treatments available. Millions of adults and children get treated for hay fever with medications and lifestyle changes.
Seeking timely treatment can help get relief from the symptoms and prevent them from worsening.
Relieve the symptoms, breathe easier, and feel better.