Allergic rhinitis is a symptomatic disorder of the nose caused by exposure to allergens, which induce an IgE-mediated inflammation of the membranes lining the nose. It may be intermittent or persistent and can be mild, moderate or severe. This allergic disorder can adversely affect the quality of life, sleep, school and work and also has a significant economic impact on patients, families and the society. It is mostly induced by indoor (mites, animal dander, insects and molds) and outdoor allergens (pollens, molds), although occupational agents may cause allergic rhinitis as well. It is proposed that allergic rhinitis occurs in approximately over 100 million people in India and surrounding countries. Typical symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, nasal blockage and itchy nose. Some patients may also experience eye symptoms (watery eyes, itchy/red eyes). Diagnosis is often easy and is based on a detailed medical history and an allergen-specific skin test or blood test may be required. Avoidance of the causative allergen is recommended. Oral and topical drugs are available to treat allergic rhinitis; however intranasal glucocorticosteroids are the most effective drugs for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Allergen-specific immunotherapy may be considered in certain cases. Allergic rhinitis increases the risk of asthma and it is more difficult to control asthma in those individuals who have both rhinitis and asthma. There are well established evidence based guidelines to facilitate the management of allergic rhinitis.Back to top
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