- It is a condition in which the inside of the nose is swollen due to exposure to allergens like pollen, dust, mould or flakes of skin from certain animals.
Allergic rhinitis which is also known as hay fever is a common allergic condition that affects up to one in five people at some point in their life.
It is a condition in which the inside of the nose is swollen due to exposure to allergens like pollen, dust, mould or flakes of skin from certain animals.
Sign and symptoms
Common symptoms include stuffy nose, sneezing, itchiness, watery eyes and a sore, scratchy throat. They usually occur for a few months at a time because they are sensitive to seasonal allergens such as tree or grass pollen. However, some people can experience symptoms all year long.
Sometimes these symptoms improve over time, but this can take many years and it is unlikely that the condition will disappear over time.
You are most likely to develop this condition if you have a family history of allergies, furthermore having asthma or eczema can also increase your risk of having hay fever.
Some factors can trigger this condition; it includes cold temperatures, humidity, wind, air pollution, hair spray, perfumes, cigarette smoke and fumes.
It is difficult to completely avoid allergens, but you can reduce the chances of exposure to certain allergens you suspect as a trigger.
• House dust mites can be avoided by regularly cleaning your cushions, soft toys, curtains and furniture, either by washing or wiping.
• For pets, keep them outside as much as possible or limit them to one room preferably without carpets.
• For pollens, check weather reports and stay indoors when the count is high and keep doors and windows shut during mid-morning and early evening.
• To prevent mould spores, when showering or cooking open windows to prevent damp air spreading through the house and use extractor fans.
Currently, there is no cure for hay fever but symptoms can be relieved with treatment to a certain extent.
Some treatment options include; anti-histamines, corticosteroids, decongestant nasal sprays and ear sprays.
Before starting any of these treatment talk to your doctor so that the best option is been given to you for your symptoms.
Anti-histamines stop your body from releasing histamines, which is released when allergens are exposed to the body. They can cause drowsiness at times hence if you are taking them for the first time, see how you react to them first.
Corticosteroids reduce the swelling of the inside of the nose, they do take longer to work then antihistamines but their effect last longer.
Decongestants help to relieve a stuffy nose and sinus pressure, they are available as nasal sprays also and they should not be used for more than 3 days.
Eye and nasal drops help to relieve itchiness and other related symptoms for a short time.
These treatments are quite effective in relieving symptoms however over-using them can have a rebound effect.
All in all hay fever does not pose a serious threat to health, however it can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life and it can also disrupt their productivity at work or school. Hence, it is advisable to treat the conditions as soon as possible and take the prevention measures.