Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever. However, allergic rhinitis is not literally hay fever because it does not cause fever. Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction. It is the irritation of the nose, as derived from the term rhino-meaning the nose. Sneezing, nasal blockage, and irritation of the eyes while harvesting hays in the field popularized this term.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs during a specific season within a year. Perennial allergic rhinitis on the other hand occurs all throughout the year.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis or hay fever most of the time are nasal congestion, runny nose with clear mucus, sneezing, eye irritation, and an excessive production of tears in the eyes. The inability to smell might also disappear along with the inability to taste. During severe cases, there may be epistaxis or the bleeding of the nose.
Allergic conjunctivitis is the term for the excessive production of tears of the eyes, along with itching, irritation, and redness. All these allergic symptoms get in the way of one’s optimum health and one’s life.
Allergic rhinitis may lead to other diseases such as sinusitis and respiratory asthma. Aside from this, those who have this disease may experience problems in dealing with their social, physical, and even mental activities. Those who have allergic rhinitis or hay fever may have difficulty with concentrating and doing deliberate tasks because the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are very irritating.
Those who have allergic rhinitis that progress to respiratory asthma in which signs of asthma are evidently observed should consult to their allergist for further and extensive treatment of asthma. They may be given an asthma test and they may be prescribed with asthma inhalers or other medicines. This is also applicable to those with sinusitis; they too should consult their doctor in the soonest possible time.
The goal in treating allergic rhinitis or hay fever is focused in reducing the symptoms caused by the swelling of the affected tissues. In most cases of allergic rhinitis, the number one most effective way to avoid the symptoms is to thoroughly avoid the allergen or the triggering factor of the allergy. Medications may be prescribed by the doctor, such as antihistamines, steroids, and decongestants.
Avoiding exposure or eliminating the allergens is the most effective preventive factor, but this management requires a lot of effort for those who have allergies and for the people around them. Most people who have allergic reactions to pollen try to remain indoors especially at morning and at night, because pollen levels are at their peak during these times.
Closing all the windows and doors within their home prevents pollens from entering their homes through the air. There are special pollen filters that can be fitted both at homes and car air-conditioning systems.
Desensitization to the allergens or triggering factors may also be done. Surgical management such as the removal of the nasal tissues or sinuses is done to those who experience severe hay fever, in which their daily living activities are intensely interrupted.