Dr. Raman Abrol
Allergic Rhinitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Types
With the changing season, a lot of people complain about allergies. Sneezing, itching in the eye, nose, mouth, watery eyes, headaches, etc., are all seasonal allergies. This is primarily seasonal, especially happens in spring and winter. This is seasonal allergy rhinitis. And it is easily manageable.
The other set of allergies is such that it stays all year long. They wake up with an itchy mouth, eyes, and sneezing. Or the sneezing begins early at 5-6 am. Or they sneeze all the time. In some cases, the sneezing starts as they enter the house, i.e., indoor allergies. Allergies This which is perennial (round the year) is called chronic allergy rhinitis.
What are the two types of allergies?
These two are the main categories of allergies that we commonly see.
Seasonal allergies mostly happen because of the different pollen from the trees, grass, and wild weeds. We are talking about an outdoor allergy, or this can happen in open ventilated rooms where pollen can enter through the door or window. So pollen is the most common cause of seasonal allergies.
The chronic allergy. It is a perennial allergy that stays all year long. The patient sneezes throughout the year, and there is discharge in the nose that keeps dripping in the throat. This is perennial allergy rhinitis. The most common cause for this is house dust mites. If the person might sneeze when they enter a room with dust while sweeping, dusting, etc., he is allergic to dust mites.
What are dust allergies and their symptoms?
Dust allergy is the most common allergy that we have seen in the patient, and dust mites are the common reason that causes the symptoms. The source of the dust mites inside the house is the mattress. The curtains, bed, and pillow contain the most dust mites, which are microscopic bacteria. These dust mites are highly allergenic. This allergy is only active when the patient sleeps at night or wakes up in the morning. Most patients who suffer from nasal allergies also suffer from chest allergies, asthma, and other breathing problems.
Therefore, it is called Nasobronchial allergy. It is said that the nose and the chest are the same organs. This is because they both have the same tissue lining. So the treatment for nose and chest allergy is also the same. When we investigate the allergy, we look into the patient’s medical history, which gives us a rough idea about the condition.
How are these allergies diagnosed?
Even the pollens have a season; if it is grass pollen, it will be in this specific season. And the same goes for the tree pollen. So these patients do not need much through investigation and can be easily treated. But it’s not the same with persistent allergies.
Skin Prick Test (SPT) is a very sensitive test. For this test, we already have the antigens, injections of the common allergens, like pollen. So what we do is to prick and test all these allergens on the patient’s arm. This helps us find out what the patient is allergic to. In the same way, for the dust mite allergy, which remains round the year, we use house dust mites injections for the test.
The SPT is one way of identifying the allergens, the other being a blood test.
What are the different allergic rhinitis treatments:
There could be two types of treatments, the one if treatment by giving anti-allergens. There are different types of anti-allergens. The commonest and whichever is suitable for the person is used for the treatment. This tablet is to be taken around the season, one tablet daily. One tablet has its effect for 24 hours. There are nasal sprays, anti-allergens spray, and anti-steroid sprays available as well.
If the allergies are around the year, anti-dust mites can be measured as dust mites are the most common causes. In this case, we dust the patient’s room, his pillow, mattress, and bedsheet and put them out in the sun. The target is that the nose of the patient should not come in contact with the bed. So we try to put a non-porous barrier between the mattress and the bedsheet to keep the dust mites from coming in connection with the patient. As far as the medicines are concerned, they are the same as that of the seasonal allergy.
This also has to be a long-term medication process; anti-allergens and nasal sprays are given to the patient. Dust allergies are treatable to a certain extent. And for the patients who want to cure, this ultimately is a susceptible asked to build their immunity, which is done by immunotherapy.
In immunotherapy, the patient is injected with serial dilution of the allergen, which the SPT confirmed. The patient takes an injection from dilute to very dilute concentration. These injections are to be taken from year to year, and then the period changes accordingly. This is how immunity is built against a particular allergen. This is how immunotherapy works.
The steps are
- Avoidance of the allergen.
- The medical treatment
Inhalers, cough syrups, bronco dilators are given to patients with chest allergies.