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Also called hay fever, is a type of inflammation of nose which occurs when the immune system gives extreme reaction to the allergens in the air. Symptoms are triggered when a person comes in contact to an allergen. The immunoglobin E antibodies (IgE) within the person’s body bind the allergen and deliver it to receptors called basophils. This triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine causing reactions such as inflammation, itching, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and difficulty and shortness of breath. Also, conditions such as asthma, nasal polyps (small growth of tissues in the nasal cavity), sinusitis (infection of sinuses) and Otitis Media ( infection of middle ear) are being associated with rhinitis.
Common risk factors triggering allergic rhinitis are smoke, dust, pollen, chemical, cold temperatures, humidity, wind, air pollution, hair sprays, perfumes and fumes.
Inherited genetics and environmental exposures can affect the development of allergies.
A number of medications can improve the symptoms.This includes nasal steroids, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, cromolyn sodium, and leukotriene receptor antagonists such as montelukast. Another way of treatment includes exposing people to larger and larger amounts of allergen using injections or tablets. This is known as allergen immunotherapy.