Allergic rhinitis can be categorized into two main types:
1. Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. This type of allergic rhinitis typically occurs during specific seasons when certain allergenic plants release pollen into the air. Common culprits include trees in the spring, grasses in the late spring and summer, and weeds in the late summer and fall. Symptoms are often more pronounced during these times.
2. Perennial Allergic Rhinitis. Unlike seasonal allergic rhinitis, perennial allergic rhinitis can occur year-round. It is usually triggered by indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and cockroach droppings. People with perennial allergic rhinitis often experience symptoms throughout the year.
Several things may cause or trigger symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis. While it may differ from person to person, the following are among the common causes of allergic rhinitis:
pollen from trees, grass, and weeds
house dust mites
wood dust, flour, dust, latex
family history of asthma or allergies, such as hay fever, hives, or eczema
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Allergic Rhinitis can be diagnosed by a simple blood test measuring immunoglobulin E (IgE). This test can detect a wide variety of allergies. Alternatively, allergies can be diagnosed with a skin prick test where a small amount of a variety of allergens is placed carefully onto the skin to look for which ones the body reacts to.
Consulting your ENT healthcare provider can best help determine which test is right for you.
Treatment & Management
Treatment and management of allergic rhinitis can include:
Allergen Avoidance. Reducing exposure to allergens, such as using air purifiers, washing bedding regularly, and keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons.
Medications. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids can help alleviate symptoms.
Nasal Irrigation. Saline nasal rinses can help relieve congestion and remove allergens from the nasal passages.
Lifestyle Modifications. Maintaining good hygiene, including regular handwashing, and staying indoors during high pollen days can reduce symptoms.