What is allergic rhinitis?
Allergic Rhinitis is an IgE mediated hypersensitivity disease of the nasal mucous membrane, characterized by sneezing and nasal blockage and nasal discharge.
Types of allergic rhinitis:
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis: It occurs in certain months
- Perennial allergic rhinitis: Occurs throughout the year
Causes of allergic rhinitis:
- Environmental: Cold environment triggers off allergy.
- Hereditary: There are higher chances if both parents have allergy to certain allergens.
- Age: Common in the 2nd and 3rd decade.
- Psychological stress: Known to precipitate already existing allergy.
Some of the common allergens:
- Dust, pollen
- Food: Eggs, prawns, pineapple etc.
- Fungi: Cladosporium, Aspergillus
- Irritating fumes, vehicular exhaust
- Cosmetics, synthetic clothes, shampoo
- Intestinal helminths
What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?
Some of the common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are:
- Nasal irritation and obstruction
- Sneezing episodes
- Watery discharge
Signs on examination:
- On Anterior rhinoscopy there is turbinate hypertrophy.
- Ethmoidal polyps may be present in long standing untreated allergy patients.
- Patients often complain of opthalmic symptoms like conjunctivitis and respiratory symptoms like asthma.
Investigations required for diagnosing allergic rhinitis:
- Detail history
- Blood count - eosinophilia
- CT Scan PNS
- Nasal smear
- Radio-Allergo Sorbent Test (RAST)
Management of allergic rhinitis:
- Desensitization by vaccines
Local treatment of allergic rhinitis:
- Local steroid sprays
- Chemical cautery by silver nitrate application
- Auto-immune therapy
- Steroid injections
Systemic treatment for allergic rhinitis:
- Mast cell stabilizes like sodium chromoglycate
- Oral decongestants, Analgesics
Surgical treatment of allergic rhinitis:
- Septal correction and polypectomy
- FESS( Endoscopic surgery helps in better areation of the sinuses and helps better drug action locally.
- Vidian Neurectomy