What to do for runny nose due to allergies
Allergy testing may reveal the specific allergens to which an individual is sensitive. Skin testing is the most common method of allergy testing. This may include a patch test to determine if a specific substance is causing the rhinitis, or an intradermal, scratch, or other test. Less commonly, the suspected allergen is dissolved and dropped onto the lower eyelid as a means of testing for allergies.
This test should be done only by a physician, since it can be harmful if done improperly. In some individuals not capable to undergo skin testing (as sure by the doctor), the RAST blood test may be helpful in determining specific allergen sensitivity. Peripheral eosinophilia can be seen in differential leukocyte count.
Allergy testing is not definitive. At times, these tests can reveal positive results for certain allergens that are not actually causing symptoms, and can also not pick up allergens that do cause an individual’s symptoms.
The intradermal allergy test is more sensitive than the skin prick test, but is also more often positive in people that do not own symptoms to that allergen.
Even if a person has negative skin-prick, intradermal and blood tests for allergies, he/she may still own allergic rhinitis, from a local allergy in the nose. This is called local allergic rhinitis. Specialized testing is necessary to diagnose local allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal, perennial, or episodic. Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs in specific during pollen seasons.
It does not generally develop until after 6 years of age. Perennial allergic rhinitis occurs throughout the year. This type of allergic rhinitis is commonly seen in younger children.
Allergic rhinitis may also be classified as Mild-Intermittent, Moderate-Severe intermittent, Mild-Persistent, and Moderate-Severe Persistent. Intermittent is when the symptoms happen <4 days per week or <4 consecutive weeks. Persistent is when symptoms happen >4 days/week and >4 consecutive weeks.
The symptoms are considered mild with normal sleep, no impairment of daily activities, no impairment of work or school, and if symptoms are not troublesome. Severe symptoms result in sleep disturbance, impairment of daily activities, and impairment of school or work.
Local allergic rhinitis
Local allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction in the nose to an allergen, without systemic allergies.
So skin-prick and blood tests for allergy are negative, but there are IgE antibodies produced in the nose that react to a specific allergen. Intradermal skin testing may also be negative.
The symptoms of local allergic rhinitis are the same as the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including symptoms in the eyes. Just as with allergic rhinitis, people can own either seasonal or perennial local allergic rhinitis. The symptoms of local allergic rhinitis can be mild, moderate, or severe.
Local allergic rhinitis is associated with conjunctivitis and asthma.
In one study, about 25% of people with rhinitis had local allergic rhinitis. In several studies, over 40% of people having been diagnosed with nonallergic rhinitis were found to actually own local allergic rhinitis. Steroid nasal sprays and oral antihistamines own been found to be effective for local allergic rhinitis.
As of , local allergenic rhinitis had mostly been investigated in Europe; in the United States, the nasal provocation testing necessary to diagnose the condition was not widely available.
Allergic rhinitis triggered by the pollens of specific seasonal plants is commonly known as «hay fever», because it is most prevalent during haying season.
However, it is possible to own allergic rhinitis throughout the year. The pollen that causes hay fever varies between individuals and from region to region; in general, the tiny, hardly visible pollens of wind-pollinatedplants are the predominant cause. Pollens of insect-pollinated plants are too large to remain airborne and pose no risk. Examples of plants commonly responsible for hay fever include:
- Trees: such as pine (Pinus), birch (Betula), alder (Alnus), cedar (Cedrus), hazel (Corylus), hornbeam (Carpinus), horse chestnut (Aesculus), willow (Salix), poplar (Populus), plane (Platanus), linden/lime (Tilia), and olive (Olea).
In northern latitudes, birch is considered to be the most common allergenic tree pollen, with an estimated 15–20% of people with hay fever sensitive to birch pollen grains. A major antigen in these is a protein called Bet V I.
Olive pollen is most predominant in Mediterranean regions. Hay fever in Japan is caused primarily by sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) and hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) tree pollen.
- Grasses (Family Poaceae): especially ryegrass (Lolium sp.) and timothy (Phleum pratense). An estimated 90% of people with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen.
- Weeds: ragweed (Ambrosia), plantain (Plantago), nettle/parietaria (Urticaceae), mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris), Fat hen (Chenopodium), and sorrel/dock (Rumex)
Allergic rhinitis may also be caused by allergy to Balsam of Peru, which is in various fragrances and other products.
Predisposing factors to allergic rhinitis include eczema (atopic dermatitis) and asthma.
These three conditions can often happen together which is referred to as the atopic triad. Additionally, environmental exposures such as air pollution and maternal tobacco smoking can increase an individual’s chances of developing allergies.
Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist
American Rhinologic Society
Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites.
It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.
Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.
ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip.
As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.
«Hay fever» redirects here. For the frolic, see Hay Fever (play).
|Other names||Hay fever, pollinosis|
|Pollen grains from a variety of plants, enlarged times and about mm wide|
|Specialty||Allergy and immunology|
|Symptoms||Stuffy itchy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, swelling around the eyes, itchy ears|
|Usual onset||20 to 40 years old|
|Causes||Genetic and environmental factors|
|Risk factors||Asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis|
|Diagnostic method||Based on symptoms, skin prick test, blood tests for specific antibodies|
|Differential diagnosis||Common cold|
|Prevention||Exposure to animals early in life|
|Medication||Nasal steroids, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, cromolyn sodium, leukotriene receptor antagonists such as montelukast, allergen immunotherapy|
|Frequency||~20% (Western countries)|
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes. The fluid from the nose is generally clear. Symptom onset is often within minutes following allergen exposure and can affect sleep, and the ability to work or study. Some people may develop symptoms only during specific times of the year, often as a result of pollen exposure. Numerous people with allergic rhinitis also own asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis.
Allergic rhinitis is typically triggered by environmental allergens such as pollen, pet hair, dust, or mold. Inherited genetics and environmental exposures contribute to the development of allergies. Growing up on a farm and having multiple siblings decreases this risk. The underlying mechanism involves IgE antibodies that attach to an allergen, and subsequently result in the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine from mast cells. Diagnosis is typically based on a combination of symptoms and a skin prick test or blood tests for allergen-specific IgE antibodies. These tests, however, can be falsely positive. The symptoms of allergies resemble those of the common cold; however, they often final for more than two weeks and typically do not include a fever.
Exposure to animals early in life might reduce the risk of developing these specific allergies. Several diverse types of medications reduce allergic symptoms: including nasal steroids, antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, cromolyn sodium, and leukotriene receptor antagonists such as montelukast. Often times, medications do not completely control symptoms and own side effects. Exposing people to larger and larger amounts of allergen, known as allergen immunotherapy (AIT), is often effective. The allergen can be as an injections under the skin or as a tablet under the tongue. Treatment typically lasts three to five years after which benefits may be prolonged.
Allergic rhinitis is the type of allergy that affects the greatest number of people. In Western countries, between 10–30% of people are affected in a given year. It is most common between the ages of twenty and forty. The first precise description is from the 10th century physician Rhazes. Pollen was identified as the cause in by Charles Blackley. In , the mechanism was sure by Clemens von Pirquet. The link with hay came about due to an early (and incorrect) theory that the symptoms were brought about by the smell of new hay.
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Sinusitis can be a confusing thing to treat for anyone.
Because a sinus infection can be so easily confused with a common freezing or an allergy, figuring out the best way to alleviate your symptoms can be difficult.
Even more challenging, a sinus infection can evolve over time from a viral infection to a bacterial infection, or even from a short-term acute infection to a long-term chronic illness.
We own provided for you the best sources of information on sinus infections to assist you rapidly define your ailment and get the best and most efficient treatment possible.
The Best Research Resources
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
This academy’s website provides valuable information to assist readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis.
A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a «virtual allergist» that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)
In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology. The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis.
It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat. It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.
National Library of Medicine
The U.S. National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library.
As part of the National Institutes of Health, their website provides the basics on sinus infection. It also contains a number of links to join you with more information on treatments, diagnostic procedures, and related issues.
Signs and symptoms
The characteristic symptoms of allergic rhinitis are: rhinorrhea (excess nasal secretion), itching, sneezing fits, and nasal congestion and obstruction. Characteristic physical findings include conjunctival swelling and erythema, eyelid swelling with Dennie–Morgan folds, lower eyelid venous stasis (rings under the eyes known as «allergic shiners»), swollen nasal turbinates, and middle ear effusion.
There can also be behavioral signs; in order to relieve the irritation or flow of mucus, people may wipe or rub their nose with the palm of their hand in an upward motion: an action known as the «nasal salute» or the «allergic salute».
This may result in a crease running across the nose (or above each nostril if only one side of the nose is wiped at a time), commonly referred to as the «transverse nasal crease», and can lead to permanent physical deformity if repeated enough.
People might also discover that cross-reactivity occurs. For example, people allergic to birch pollen may also discover that they own an allergic reaction to the skin of apples or potatoes. A clear sign of this is the occurrence of an itchy throat after eating an apple or sneezing when peeling potatoes or apples. This occurs because of similarities in the proteins of the pollen and the food. There are numerous cross-reacting substances.
Hay fever is not a true fever, meaning it does not cause a core body temperature in the fever over –°C (–°F).