What is the difference between cold and allergic rhinitis?

It is spring, the temperature rises, and your nose is clogged and flowing, you often sneeze, and your head is weighing. The first thing you think is that you have a cold.

But these symptoms also warn of chronic inflammation of the nasal epithelium – allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is a chronic inflammation of the nasal epithelium that manifests with cold-like symptoms.

Such symptoms are caused by the allergic reaction to allergens, of which the most common are: pollen, domestic dust, animal hair, etc. In some patients the symptoms are present throughout the year, while in others the condition worsens at certain periods of the year (spring, autumn).

There are two theories about the appearance of allergic rhinitis, hygenic and ecological.

– Hygenic theory is based on insufficient exposure of the organism to bacterial and viral infections (for example, overuse of antibiotics).

– Ecological theory is based on excessive exposure to environmental factors that are potential allergens (for example, hygiene maintenance, pet keeping, high levels of food preservatives, etc.).

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

Symptoms usually occur immediately after exposure to the specific allergen, and are manifested by:

– leaking a clear secret from the nose
– stuffy nose
– Sneezing
– Cough
– itching of the nose, palate and throat
– a feeling of fullness of sinuses and pain in the forehead and apple areas
– reduced sense of smell and taste

Although allergic rhinitis can occur at any time of life, it is common to develop during childhood and youth. Over the years, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are slowly decreasing in most patients.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can:

1. Seriously impair the quality of life and affect the ability to carry out everyday duties at the workplace and in the school.

2. To influence the quality of the dream, so the patient becomes insensitive, deconcentrated and tired.

3. Allergic rhinitis leads to worsening of asthma, changes in the mucous membrane of the nose and sinuses with sinusitis development and nasal polyposis, as well as an increased risk of developing inflammation of the ear, especially in children.

How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?

In case of doubt about allergic rhinitis, a clinical examination and endoscopy of the upper respiratory tract should be performed. How is he treated?

The main procedure in treating allergic rhinitis is to avoid the allergen, if possible. The main precondition for this prevention is to accurately determine the allergen. In the case of animal hair allergy, the keeping of pet animals in the apartment should be avoided. In case of home dust, minimalist arrangement of the space in which we are staying, regular cleaning with a damp cloth and no unnecessary items in it should be provided.

In pollen allergies, it is recommended that during the blooming period the windows are kept closed and ventilated with air conditioners with special pollen filters. Symptoms should be started with therapy. Non-aging antihistamines are used in milder forms of the disease.

In the more severe forms besides antihistamines, corticosteroid preparations in the form of spray are also used. Nose droplets can be used short-term (several days) when symptoms are most pronounced.

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