Allergic rhinitis is a condition that affects the nose and the respiratory tracts, caused by an overreaction of the body to allergens. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mold. Allergic rhinitis can start with sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and redness of the nose. The irritated nasal membranes can cause some loss of smell and taste, as well as make it difficult to breathe through your nose.
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
Allergies are a type of hypersensitivity reaction in which the immune system responds to substances that are generally not harmful. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies bind to allergens and cause the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine, which leads to the symptoms of allergy. The nose is one of the most common sites for allergic reactions. The lining of the nose contains mast cells, which are found in many tissues throughout the body. Mast cells contain granules that contain histamine, enzymes called proteases, and other compounds. When an allergen binds to IgE on mast cells, these cells release their granules into nearby blood vessels causing them to dilate. This process causes itching, swelling, and redness in the nose area as well as a runny nose or sneezing if mucus production has been stimulated by histamine release from mast cells in response to an allergen.
Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from grasses such as timothy grass and Bermuda grass, trees like birch and elm, and weeds such as ragweed and cedar trees. These plants release their pollen in the summer months when the temperature rises and humidity falls. Seasonal allergies usually start in late spring or early summer and last until autumn.
Perennial allergies are caused by pollens from trees such as oak and maple, weeds such as nettles and buttercups, and grasses such as Bermuda grass and Bermuda tree (Ceiba speciosa). They produce their pollen year-round, so people with perennial allergies may have symptoms throughout the year rather than just in the spring or summer months.
Signs You Have Allergic Rhinitis?
Here are some of the signs that may indicate that you have nasal allergies:
1. Sneezing: This is one of the most common symptoms of any type of allergy. If you are sneezing more than usual, especially in the mornings, then it is a clear indication that there is something wrong with your sinuses.
2. Runny nose: A runny nose can be an indication of an allergy attack in some people who already have chronic sinusitis or seasonal allergies.
3. Itchy eyes: If your eyes are itching or swollen and red, it could be caused due to an allergic reaction from dust or pollen in the air that has entered your nasal cavity through your nostrils.
4. Dry mouth and throat: Dry mouth can be caused due to dehydration caused by frequent sneezing during an allergic reaction or due to drinking too much water before going to sleep, which then leads to waking up frequently at night due to thirstiness resulting in dryness of the mouth as well as throat and causing difficulty swallowing foods which results in a dry feeling.
How Can You Avoid Allergic Rhinitis?
The first way to avoid allergies is to avoid the allergen. For example, if you are allergic to pollen, then stay indoors when there are high pollen counts. Or, if you have pets at home, then keep them out of the bedroom.
If you do not have control over your environment, then try to limit contact with the allergen as much as possible. For example, if you are allergic to dust mites, then use a filter vacuum cleaner and clean regularly using an anti-mite spray or wipe in addition to vacuuming. This will help reduce mite counts in your home.
If these measures are not enough for you, then consider using allergy medications such as antihistamines or nasal steroid sprays to reduce symptoms of your allergic rhinitis.
What is Persistent Sinusitis?
Persistent sinusitis is a chronic condition in which the sinuses are inflamed and infected. The sinuses are air-filled spaces inside the bones of the face. They provide cushioning around the nose and eyes, and they produce mucus that drains into the throat. The symptoms of persistent sinusitis include:
● Nasal congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip
● Stuffy nose that lasts for more than eight weeks
● Sinus pain and pressure that worsens with changes in position (lying down or bending over)
● Pain when chewing or opening your mouth wide
● Possible swelling of your face
Is Persistent Sinusitis lethal?
Many people think that chronic sinusitis is something that can be fatal, but it actually isn’t. The main thing that causes death in people with chronic sinusitis is that they’re usually sick for so long that they end up getting other diseases or conditions. They often become depressed, and their immune systems are weakened because they’ve been sick for so long. This means that people with chronic sinusitis should be getting treatment as soon as possible because it will help them feel better and live longer.
How Can Allergic Rhinitis Cause Persistent Sinusitis?
It is possible to get a sinus infection from allergic rhinitis. The reason is that the swollen mucous membranes can block the eustachian tube and cause pressure problems in your ears. This pressure can result in sinusitis.
The connection between allergic rhinitis and sinusitis can be explained by the fact that allergies cause swelling of the mucous membranes in the nose, which makes it harder for them to drain properly. When this happens, bacteria can grow more easily on these surfaces, causing an infection.
Can You Treat Persistent Sinusitis?
Yes, there are many treatment options available for persistent sinusitis. The first step is to determine the cause and underlying condition. If you have allergies or an infection, then these should be treated with medications that your doctor prescribes. If there is a structural problem, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps, then your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). Nasal sprays and decongestants can help relieve some of the symptoms of sinusitis. Antihistamines are also helpful in reducing inflammation and mucus production in the sinuses.
Steroids may be used to reduce inflammation in the sinuses if indicated for certain conditions like fungal sinusitis or allergic fungal rhinosinusitis due to Aspergillus fumigatus (mold) spores which can cause allergic fungal rhinosinusitis.
Persistent sinusitis, also known as chronic sinusitis or recurrent rhinosinusitis, is a lifelong condition. While there are treatment, prevention, and management options available, it is often difficult to eliminate persistent sinusitis. Recurrent infections are very common in people with allergic rhinitis, especially if they have allergies to indoor molds (since mold spores can enter the nasal cavity).