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Allergic rhinitis is the most common allergic disease but often remains unrecognized and untreated, as patients mistake it for mild cold and/or conjunctivitis to seek appropriate medical attention. Unlike viral infections, the secretion of rhinitis is clear and watery, and there is itching, which is not characteristic of colds and flu. Modern lifestyle, environmental pollution, and industrial development have led to a drastic increase in the number of people suffering from allergic rhinitis in recent years, which requires improvement of awareness among the population to recognize the symptoms and apply timely treatment.
The disease’s most common symptoms are a stuffy, runny nose, itching, sore throat, red and watery eyes, and difficult breathing. The presence of several of these issues is an excellent reason to seek medical help from an allergist for diagnosis and timely treatment, which is extremely important because about half of patients with untreated allergic rhinitis develop subsequent bronchial asthma. Allergic rhinitis also worsens the lower respiratory tract symptoms and accompanies a considerable percentage of people with asthma.
Some of the factors leading to the development of allergic rhinitis are related to the external environment. Pollen is a common cause, which explains the complication of the disease during the spring-summer season, but the notion that this rhinitis is caused only by pollen is completely wrong. Other allergens can also be molds, fungi, insects, mites, animal dandruff.
Other factors for the development of allergic rhinitis are genetic predispositions and family history. It is known that if a parent has allergic rhinitis, the probability of the child developing it is up to 50%.
Additional aggravating factors are a baby born too early, low birth weight, and hormonal preparations during pregnancy. Occupational factors can also cause allergic rhinitis.
Diagnosis is based on diagnostic tests and medical history. Doctors have several diagnostic methods and tools at their disposal to reject or confirm the diagnosis. A timely examination by an allergist saves many future problems. There are safe, affordable, and effective treatments – antihistamines. Nasal corticosteroids are also useful in controlling the disease. Lasting treatment of the problem can be achieved through allergen immunotherapy, in which the body gradually receives increasing doses of the allergen to get used to it. This treatment requires patience and takes time.
Of course, it is necessary to strive to avoid allergens when possible – to prevent moisture and mold at home; replacement of bed linen with one protected from mites; limiting leaving the house between 5 and 10 a.m., especially on windy days in the presence of pollen; isolation from pets and not allowing intimacy with people raising one.
Allergic rhinitis is a global health problem with an increasing systemic frequency, which raises a number of questions about the need to diagnose it and prescribe treatment. The team of allergists at Medical Center “Hera” will help you take the first and most crucial step towards dealing with the problem. You can make an appointment for your examination by calling 0882 441 433 and 02 404 8656.