In the United States alone, allergic rhinitis affects approximately 40 million people, while in Scandinavia 15% increase of cases among men and 14% among women is recorded; however, the most frightening fact is that about 65% patients who have been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis and who received antihistamines, were not allergic.
In fact, often even for professionals it is difficult to distinguish allergic rhinitis from cold through the symptoms alone, especially when these diseases are often combined, i.e. the patient is suffering from allergic and infectious rhinitis at the same time, although without treatment or appropriate care rhinitis may complicate to more serious problems, such as sinusitis, ear inflammation, especially for children, or asthma. Due to the same reason, a comprehensive allergy diagnostic is critically important.
Why the symptoms occur?
Rhinitis occurs when allergens existing in the air causes inflammation which stimulates production of fluid in the nose, sinuses, and eyes. Rhinitis is usually seasonal, starting with the pollen season; however, there are some allergens which we encounter throughout the year. One of the most popular - house dust mites. Statistics show that for one in 5 allergic persons the allergy is determined precisely for these small beasts.
Typical symptoms of rhinitis:
– Prolonged or seasonal rhinitis;
– Nasal congestion, itching, sneezing;
– Eye itching, redness, tearing, swelling of the eyelids;
– Itching of the throat, mouth, lips;
– Paroxysmal cough, paroxysmal dyspnea;
– Fatigue and sleep disorders.
Although allergic rhinitis is not a life-threatening disease; however, it is also associated with nasal polyps, allergic conjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis. In addition to this, it is worth to be aware of the fact that the babies who are younger than 12 months and who have had anaphylaxis, usually have the previous history of atopic dermatitis; therefore, it is very important to diagnose the disease and to prevent its spread or transformation into other forms of allergic diseases as soon as possible.