Allergic rhinitis or “hay fever” is a common condition. It often commences in teenage years and is associated with an itchy nose, a runny nose and sneezing.

Allergic rhinitis can also cause a blocked nose that can cause trouble sleeping or lead to snoring. The eyes are also often affected, being itchy, irritated and tired. Whilst it is not a dangerous condition, by affecting the eyes and sleep, rhinitis can have a significant impact on quality of life. Allergic rhinitis often occurs with asthma.

Allergic Rhinitis can occur in response to many antigens and it is important to distinguish between allergies that occur in the spring or summer season and those that occur all year round. Common allergic triggers are house dust mite, grass pollens and pets such as cat dander.

When assessing rhinitis it is important to decide whether the rhinitis is due to an underlying allergy. If this is the case then it is possible to treat the rhinitis by:

  1. Avoiding the allergic trigger if possible
  2. Using medication such as intra-nasal corticosteroid medication, or other medications.
  3. Undertaking immunotherapy or desensitisation to the major allergic trigger.

However not all rhinitis is allergic in nature so that often it is not possible to determine an allergic trigger. In such cases medications will likely be the mainstay of treatment. Some of these patients may also benefit from nasal surgery. The purpose of seeing an Allergy specialist is to work out if allergen-specific treatments are likely to be effective.

  Make an appointment with Melbourne Allergy Asthma & Immunology Consultants to discuss your best treatment options for allergic rhinitis.

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