What Is Allergic Rhinitis?


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Rhinitis is a medical term linked to the nasal passage.  Those that suffer will exhibit the following symptoms; they will experience swelling to their airway, they will experience trouble breathing, their eyes will become watery and they will most definitely have to endure a runny nose.  This is largely due to the inflammation of the inside of the nostril which irritates the mucus membranes and causes them to produce more mucus than normal.  In many cases of allergic rhinitis the cause of this reaction is the inhalation of an allergen.  These can range from dust mite particles, pollen from flowers and trees and animal dander.

There are three different types of rhinitis:

  • Vasomotor rhinitis
  • Infective rhinitis
  • Allergic rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis refers to adverse reactions to non-allergens; it can affect a person’s sense of smell and taste and can be trigger by humidity and extreme temperatures.  Infective rhinitis is caused by bacteria or viruses, and can take the form of sinusitis or the common cold.  The final form is called allergic rhinitis, and this type is found in two forms, those being perennial allergic rhinitis and seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or Hay fever is most prevalent during the spring and summer seasons.  There is also perennial allergic rhinitis, a term which applies to allergic reactions that occur throughout the year and not at specific periods.  It is considered that the latter type is more likely to affect young children than adults.  Unfortunately for those diagnosed with perennial allergic rhinitis at least 40% will find that it worsening with the onset of the spring and summer months.

A commonality between the two types is the cause of the reaction, as both forms of rhinitis are induced by inhaling an allergen.  In the case of seasonal allergic rhinitis the villain is pollen from trees, flowers or grass.  With perennial allergic rhinitis we find it is the dust mite that causes the most discomfort.  In terms of allergy treatment the main aim is to reduce the swelling of the nasal cavities.  Over the counter remedies such as ‘Piriton’ will be of help, as would an antihistamine nose spray or tablets.

Read more in the Allergies Information Guide »