Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is an inflammation that occurs in the nasal cavity due to an allergic reaction. Allergic rhinitis can be triggered by various types of allergens, for example pollen, dust, or animal fur.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction. The condition causes several symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy nose, and clogged. In addition, allergic rhinitis can also cause the appearance of rashes on the skin, red and watery eyes, as well as sore throats.
Allergic rhinitis can be prevented by avoiding exposure to triggering factors, such as dust or pollen. If symptoms of allergic rhinitis arise, the doctor can give antihistamines and decongestant drugs to relieve them.
Allergic Rhinitis Causes
The cause is an allergic process, when hypersensitivity occurs from immune cells when a foreign substance or particle enters the body. The formed immune cells consider the object to be a foreign body that must be removed, resulting in local and systemic inflammatory reactions.
The substance is called an allergen, which is something that triggers allergies. When a person with allergic rhinitis breathes in allergens such as pollen, fungi, animal fur, or dust, the body releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms
Symptoms that arise from allergic rhinitis when exposed to allergens are the nose, eyes, throat, itchy skin. Then there can appear smelling disorders, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, tired body, headaches, and swelling around the eyes.
Allergic Rhinitis Complications
In certain cases, allergic rhinitis can trigger the occurrence of complications, including:
- Nasal polyps, fluid-filled sacs formed inside the nasal cavity and sinuses due to inflammation of the lining of the nasal cavity wall
- Sinusitis, an infection that occurs because the fluid cannot flow from the sinuses is caused by inflammation and swelling of the nasal cavity
- Infection of the middle ear, an infection that occurs on the back of the eardrum
Usually all three of the above conditions can be treated with drugs. In severe or prolonged cases, surgery is required.
Allergic Rhinitis Diagnosis
Generally, the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis is confirmed through a physical examination. In addition, the doctor will also collect information about the symptoms that appear, daily activities, and environmental conditions. If the doctor had been able to confirm the diagnosis and the patient does not experience complications, then a laboratory examination is not required.
You will need further examination if:
- Want to know for sure which allergens trigger your allergic rhinitis so that steps can be taken to avoid it
- The treatment that has been done is not effective
- You’re experiencing enough severe symptoms
- You want to undergo immunotherapy treatments, such as anti-allergy injections
Follow-up examinations that will be done by the doctor include:
- Skin test. The test is done by inserting a needle that has been given a certain allergen to the skin to find out the reaction.
- Blood test. To find out the levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that the body produces in reaction to certain allergens.
Both types of examination will help the doctor to ascertain whether allergic rhinitis is causing you to experience symptoms as well as to determine the appropriate treatment. Examinations can also be used to check for possible complications, such as sinusitis or asthma.
Another examination for allergies.
Generally, ongoing checks do not need to be carried out. However, the doctor may advise you to ensure that the symptoms are not caused by other diseases. The checks in question are:
- Imagery tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. This examination will show if you have a sinus infection, chronic sinus lining inflammation, abnormal shape of the nasal structure, or cancer.
- Rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy. Examinations are carried out to identify nasal polyps or anything else that clogs the nasal cavity.
- Checking mucociliary clearance time. An examination is carried out to find cilia (fine hair) that grow abnormally in the nasal cavity. Some rare diseases can cause problems in cilia, resulting in the production of excess fluid.