Do you find yourself or one of your family member experiencing uncalled-for nasal congestion, runny nose, nasal itching, sneezing quite frequently? Then it is about time you get yourself or that family member checked for Allergic Rhinitis. Well, as for me, even I learned about it quite recently when my husband was diagnosed with the same. I began reading about it from trusted sources and found that the problem arises due to seemingly simple factors. The very next question that popped up in my mind was whether my son could also have the same allergy, like his dad, since allergies can be hereditary. This is what I found after reading many research studies and literature available online on Allergic Rhinitis.
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
In a layman’s words, Allergic Rhinitis is an immune response from our body which is triggered by some allergy-causing agents or allergens. Now, even though it is a part of the defence mechanism of our body, it is troublesome. The most common kinds of allergies that we human beings have are related to nose, eyes, skin and lungs. If you observe, all of these organs are kind of working on the frontline of the body. Hence, they are more susceptible to allergies too.
In medical terms, ‘Rhine’ is used to refer to things related to the nose like rhinoplasty (nose job). So as the name suggests, Allergic Rhinitis too is related to an allergic reaction that happens in the nose. Typically, whenever any allergen enters the nose, the body reacts to push the allergen out. This is why the sneezing, runny nose and nasal itching happens.
Common allergens that cause Allergic Rhinitis:
There are typically two kinds of allergens: one that is found inside the home and the second that is found outdoors. The outdoor allergy-causing agents are environmental pollution (a major concern in India) and pollen from trees, molds, and dust. While indoors, may be your home or office, the commonly found allergens are dust, pet hairs, food, medicine, pet & human dander and more. As a matter of fact, the air inside the home is 5 times more polluted than the air outside.
Can you treat Allergic Rhinitis?
Unfortunately, Allergic Rhinitis or any other allergy is not fully treatable. However, it can be controlled or avoided by lifestyle changes. The symptoms can be cured by medicines and a long-term remission is also possible with immunotherapy.
What lifestyle changes you can make to avoid Allergic Rhinitis:
- Adding air purifying indoor plants.
- Do not smoke inside the house as kids or other family members can become allergic to it. Avoid smoking entirely.
- Regular cleaning of house and appliances like fans and air conditioners.
- While dusting, using a mask or cloth to cover the nose and mouth areas is advisable.
- If it is proven that a family member is allergic to pet hairs or dander then keeping pets should be avoided.
- Closing doors and windows on windy days so that pollen do not enter house.
Is your child at a higher risk if any of the parents have this allergy of nose?
Kids have high activity level. They cannot sit at one place while inside the home and of course, when they are playing in the garden, they are the happiest. So generally, children are more prone to catching allergies than adults. However, studies show that if any of the parents (like my husband) has Allergic Rhinitis or for that matter any kind of allergy then it is more probable that the children have the same. However, they might react to allergens differently than their parent. Especially in the case of hay fever, the chances of it being passed on by parents via genes is more.
A little child or even babies as young as 6 months old can have allergies. Being a mother, I can only imagine the helplessness young kids who are barely able to express themselves would be feeling. The ill-effects of it don’t just hamper their development but also restrict their outdoor and indoor activity levels. It is best that as responsible parents, in addition to good food, healthy home environment and vaccinations, we get the children screened for any sort of allergies as soon as possible. It is especially crucial if the wife or the husband has the same.
You can know more about allergies and their management here.
Happy Healthy Living!
The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi India. Sanofi India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.