Otorhinolaryngological Diseases

Allergic Rhinitis (Nasal Allergy)
It is a reaction of the immune system of an allergic person to certain substances (such as pollen, mites, fungi, some foods... etc.) that naturally do not affect normal people.

Nasal allergy:
It is an inflammation of the membranes lining the nose, and it occurs when breathing or inhaling one of the substances that the infected person is allergic to (irritants), where a group of symptoms begin to appear within minutes of exposure to these substances, and it can affect sleep, ability to work, and concentration in school.
Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever, but the primary irritant is not necessarily hay.
The difference between allergic rhinitis and a cold or flu:
  • The allergic rhinitis continues throughout the period of exposure to the irritant, while cold or flu lasts for 3-7 days.
  • allergic rhinitis does not cause a rise in temperature, unlike a cold or the flu.
  • Nasal secretions from allergic rhinitis are thin and watery, while a runny nose from a cold or flu can be thicker.
  • Itching (mostly of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat and skin) is common with allergic rhinitis and not common with a cold or the flu.
The body's immune system reacts to allergic irritants by producing antibodies to combat them (antibodies are special proteins in the blood that are normally produced to fight off viruses and infections).
These antibodies cause cells to release a number of chemicals, such as histamine, which can cause inflammation of the inner layer of the nose (the mucous membrane) and this is what causes the typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose.
Allergens (irritants):
  • External causes, for example, pollen, which is the most common cause of allergic rhinitis, when it is present in the air, in hot and dry weather, at the time of wind blowing, and during the pollination seasons of some plants, the prevalence of symptoms increases and the appearance of symptoms differs from one person to another and from one region to another.
  • Indoor allergens (e.g.: pet hair or dander, dust and mold).
  • Irritants (such as: cigarette smoke, perfume, and car exhaust).
  • Sneeze.
  • Cough.
  • Itching in the eyes, nose, mouth or skin.
  • Runny nose.
  • Nasal obstruction due to congestion.
  • Headache.
  • Redness, swelling and tears in the eyes.
When to see a doctor:
If symptoms do not improve and are not controlled or symptoms begin to affect productivity and the performance of daily tasks.

The doctor asks about family history and personal history related to allergies, then he will examine the internal nasal tissue to ensure that there are no swellings or infections, and he may resort to using a nasal speculum when needed.
Neglecting to treat allergy symptoms leads to the following complications:
  • Worsening of asthma.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Middle ear canal infections.
Nasal allergy treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms, not treating the allergy itself, and includes medication (with a doctor’s prescription):
  • Antihistamines (tablets, sprays, or drops).
  • Steroid spray.
  • Decongestants (tablets or drops).
As for the home treatment, it is using saline solution to wash the nose when symptoms are mild, and it can be bought from the pharmacy or made at home.

Staying away from the elements that cause allergies, and this means controlling the external environment in which the infected person lives, by doing the following:
  • Close windows tightly in the house and car, and stay away from gardens and orchards in the spring and early summer season (the time when the plant sprouts in the air).
  • Stay away from allergenic animals such as cats, horses and birds.
  • Reduce the percentage of dust moth (which are tiny living creatures that feed on dead skin cells that the body gets rid of during sleep, and when the excrement of this moth dries, it flies in the air, so the infected person inhales it, and allergy symptoms appear on him. This moth also lives on pillow covers, rugs, curtains, and upholstered furniture.), by following:
  • Cover pillows with tissues that do not retain dust.
  • Do not use pillows stuffed with feathers or use blankets made of wool.
  • Bed and pillow covers should be washed at least once a week.
  • Regular cleaning of the floor and carpets with a vacuum cleaner, and not to be done by those who have allergies.
  • Clean the furniture pieces with a cloth dampened with water.
  • Reduce, as much as possible, the furniture in the patient’s bedroom, and replace regular curtains with venetian blinds.
  • Keep clothes in a locked cupboard.
  • Do not allow animals to enter the bedrooms.
Last Update : 31 August 2023 08:46 AM
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