Allergies, they make you sneeze, cough and leave your eyes itchy and watery. Allergic rhinitis is a seasonal or a perennial condition. When diagnosing the disease, doctors will examine the patient physically and check the patient’s family history. This will help determine a course of treatment. |
A patient with allergic rhinitis will suffer from swollen nasal passages leaving them feeling clogged up and stuffy. Other symptoms may include, sneezing, itchy runny nose, watery eyes and scratchy throat. More severe symptoms include painful ear pressure, fatigue and even nose bleeds.
This condition affects many people. Allergic rhinitis symptoms start in childhood or early teens. Adults may also experience symptoms at any time. It is more prevalent in young boys, but equally present in adults. Although this is not a life threatening condition, it can aggravate other illnesses and make life uncomfortable. There are many ways of controlling allergens that can flair an allergic reaction. Most patients can manage their symptoms with a combination of preventatives.
Immunotherapy is also known as allergy desensitization. This treats the cause of the reaction. The patient is given low doses of the allergen known to cause the reaction, and gradually increasing the dosage. This is known to work by desensitizing the body to the allergen, therefore eliminating the reaction. This can take months or years to have the desired effect. The length of time it takes to be effective varies.
Other ways to ease the symptoms include elimination of dust mites by using allergen proof pillow and mattress covers, dusting frequently, washing bedding often, vacuum floors using a vacuum with HEPA filters, and cleaning or replacing furnace and air filters often.
If pet dander is the trigger, it does not mean not having a pet. Clean pet hair often, keep the pets off bedding and furniture and give Fido a bath often. If these preventives do not work, then not having a pet would be in order. Air pollution is a huge culprit. The best way to control how much the patient is exposed to is to avoid the outdoors on particularly hot or humid days.
If smoking makes you cough and sneeze, simply avoid hanging around smokers, do not smoke yourself, and be cautious of second hand smoke.
Bugs can trigger allergic rhinitis reactions. Keeping your home as bug free as possible will help keep the reactions at bay. Use bug traps to catch insects before they leave allergens behind. Spraying with insecticides can also control insects, but it is recommended to air the areas treated well before entering. Insecticides can also trigger reactions.
Medication is also frequently prescribed. While they can be very effective, they also have side effects that might be just as unpleasant as sneezing and coughing. Decongestants, steroids and anti-histamines are often prescribed and are very effective.
Surgery will not cure allergic rhinitis, but it can repair any physical defects such as removing nasal polyps and fixing a deviated nasal septum. Some patients will have tubes put in ear canals to aid in draining.
Managing allergic rhinitis can get expensive. Prescriptions and doctor visits add up quickly. The extra cleaning is an indirect cost. Other indirect costs are missing work or being less productive due to illness. The costs of managing this disease depends a lot on what treatment you and your doctor choose.
Karim Smaira is the CEO of Genpharm Services,a leading pharmaceutical firm who has recently partnered with Stallergenes to commercialize Staloral, a specific allergen immunotherapy preparation that is ideal for patients suffering from moderate to severe allergic rhinitis and/or mild to moderate allergic asthma, in the U.A.E and Egypt. To find out more about Genpharm click here.
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