19047 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Conditions InDepth: Allergic Rhinitis

    Allergic rhinitis refers to a group of symptoms—such as a runny or itchy nose, watery eyes, and sneezing—that result from inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes. A common, but inaccurate, name for this condition is hay fever. It is estimated that 40-50 million people in the United States develop allergic rhinitis during their lifetime. Allergic rhinitis precedes the onset of asthma in over 50% of cases so seeing a doctor as early as possible is recommended.
    Allergic Rhinitis With Severe Swelling of the Nasal Tissues
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    Mucous membranes in the nose may become inflamed when certain airborne allergens—such as dust, pollen, mold, or animal dander—are inhaled. For those who are sensitive, these allergens stimulate an excessive immune reaction.
    The body makes an immunoglobulin antibody (IgE) specific to that allergen and binds to mast cells that make chemicals, like histamine. This is called “sensitization.” The next time your body comes into contact with the allergen, the antibody recognizes it, and the histamine is released from the mast cell. The histamine causes dilation of nasal blood vessels and inflammation of the mucous membranes, which result in common allergy symptoms.
    There are two types of allergic rhinitis:
    • Seasonal—Symptoms occur only at certain times of the year, usually spring, summer, and early fall. In most cases, people with seasonal allergic rhinitis are sensitive to pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, or airborne mold spores.
    • Perennial—Perennial allergic rhinitis causes symptoms all year-round. People who have this form of allergic rhinitis are generally allergic to house dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, and/or mold spores. Occasionally, food allergies may cause perennial allergic rhinitis.
    In general, allergic rhinitis is a relatively mild condition that may cause discomfort, but is seldom serious. Some complications associated with allergic rhinitis include:
    What are the risk factors for allergic rhinitis?What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?What are the treatments for allergic rhinitis?Are there screening tests for allergic rhinitis?How can I reduce my risk of allergic rhinitis?What questions should I ask my doctor?Where can I get more information about allergic rhinitis?

    References

    Advice from your allergist: Rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.acaai.org/public/advice/rhin.htm . Accessed September 15, 2008.

    Allergic rhinitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated September 2008. Accessed September 15, 2008.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.