What is Allergic Rhinitis/Hay Fever?
Allergic Rhinitis is a general term that indicates an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes. The release of histamine and other inflammatory substances during an allergic reaction produce the other symptoms associated with this condition: sneezing, a runny nose, ear and throat congestion, swollen sinuses, postnasal drip, and red, watery, itchy eyes.
An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) and its year-round counterpart, perennial rhinitis. Statistically it has been displayed that women and people living in the southern United States being slightly more susceptible to it than others.
The total direct medical costs amount to $4.5 billion per year. It has been found that there is a significant correlation between allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Approximately 38% of patients with allergic rhinitis also suffer from asthma. Higher than the 3% to 5% prevalence in the general population.
Allergic Rhinitis often coincides with chronic ear infections (otitis media), and half of children over three years of age with chronic ear infections also suffer from allergic rhinitis.
What are the Most Common Allergens?
Some well-known rhinitis allergens are mold spores and the pollens from an estimated 65 types of trees as well as those from weeds, flowers, and grasses. Ragweed pollen alone triggers approximately 75% of allergic rhinitis cases.”
These substances are carried by the wind, generally between February and October, and are inhaled through the nose and mouth. Contrary to popular belief, most vividly colored flowers are not sources of allergic reactions, since their pollen is too heavy for airborne pollination.
As we now spend up to 90% of our time indoors, often in energy-efficient buildings that recalculate the same stale air, indoor air.
Many Irritants are found inside Homes and Offices
Irritants such as dust mites, mold spores, cockroach casings, animal dander, smoke, and chemicals are likely triggering more cases of Allergic rhinitis than do outdoor sources.
Conventional doctors treat allergic rhinitis with one or a combination of antihistamines, decongestants, allergy shots, cromolyn sodium, and topical nasal steroids.