Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever; It is an allergic re
action that occurs when your immune system overreacts to substances (such as pollen) that you breathe into your body. With the arrival of spring, it begins, which is not seen more often.
The two types of allergic rhinitis are:
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever): Persistent allergic rhinitis that occurs throughout the year. Hay fever is caused by environmental and external allergens (such as pollen).
Persistent allergic rhinitis that occurs throughout the year: Caused by internal allergens such as dust mites, pet dander and mold.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are similar to the symptoms of a cold. But while the common cold is caused by a virus, the reason is not a virus here. When you breathe in an allergen, the immune system is activated. It secretes substances known as IGE into the nasal passages along with the inflammatory chemicals you call histamine. Your eyes may itch, or your nose and sinuses may be itchy and stuffy. Scientists aren't sure why your immune system overreacts to allergens.
Allergic rhinitis is common and the frequency of allergic rhinitis in Turkey varies between 3 and 36%. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is more common in children and adolescents. Most patients with allergic rhinitis develop symptoms before the age of 20. Symptoms do not change into early adulthood but begin to improve in middle age and beyond. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma.
Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms and Signs
Allergic rhinitis can cause many symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy, watery eyes
- swollen eyelids
- Itchy mouth, throat, ears and face
- Throat ache
- Dry cough
- Facial pain or a feeling of pressure
- Partial loss of hearing, smell and taste
- Dark circles under the eyes
Causes of Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
The immune system is designed to fight harmful substances such as bacteria and viruses. When you have allergic rhinitis, the immune system overreacts to harmless substances such as pollen, mold, and pet dander. This reaction is called an allergic reaction.Seasonal allergic rhinitis is triggered by pollen and mold spores.
- Ragweed in the fall.(plant) The most common seasonal allergen.
- Grass pollen in spring and late summer
- Tree pollen in spring Fungus, mold growth, dead leaves, common in summer and autumn
- Annual allergic rhinitis can be triggered by:
- Animal hairs
- Dust and household items
- Molds grow on wallpaper, houseplants, carpet and upholstery
- Family history of allergies
- Having food allergies or other allergies such as eczema
- Exposure to passive cigarette smoke
- Male gender
Diagnosing Allergic Rhinitis
Your doctor will ask questions about your family and personal allergy history.
* Do the symptoms change depending on the time of day or season?
* Do you have a pet?
* Have you made changes in your diet?
* Are you taking any medication?
* Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may recommend a skin test to find out what you are allergic to. In the skin prick test, for example, small amounts of suspected allergens are applied to the skin with a needle or scratch. If there is an allergy, the area will be swollen and red. Sometimes a blood test may be done to find out which allergic substances you are reacting to.
* With young children, it can also be helpful to watch what they do. For example, a child with allergic rhinitis may wiggle his nose and push it up with the palm of the hand. This is called the Allergic Salute.
Preventing Allergic Rhinitis
The best way to control your symptoms is to avoid exposure to the allergens that trigger them.
If you have hay fever, on days or seasons with high airborne allergens:
- Stay indoors and close the windows.
- Use an air conditioner in your home and car.
- Do not use fans that draw in air from outside.
- Do not leave the laundry to dry outside.
- After being outside, take a bath or shower and change your clothes.
- Use a HEPA air filter in your bedroom.
If you have allergies throughout the year;
- Cover your pillows and mattress with dust mite covers.
- Remove the carpet and install tile or hardwood floors. Use area rugs and wash them frequently in very hot water.
- Use blinds instead of curtains.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom.
- Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum.
- Use an air cleaner.
- Wash bedding and toys (such as stuffed animals) in very hot water once a week.
- There is evidence to suggest that exposure to infections, livestock and pets (such as cats and dogs) in infancy and early childhood can reduce the risk of developing allergic rhinitis later in life. One study suggests that premature babies have a lower risk of allergic rhinitis due to previous exposure to pathogens.
Allergic Rhinitis Treatment
The best way to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis is to avoid exposure to allergens.
Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroid sprays can help control allergy symptoms. Some complementary and alternative therapies may also be used to treat symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend immunotherapy or "allergy shots." With this treatment, an allergen injection is given regularly; each dose is slightly larger than the previous dose. Your immune system must gradually get used to the allergen so that it no longer reacts. In addition, some lifestyle and dietary changes can help prevent or improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.