Allergic Rhinitis

Overview of Allergic Rhinitis

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Allergic Rhinitis - Information for Patients

Let’s talk about Allergic Rhinitis as an uninvited guest causing discomforting symptoms like sneezing, itchiness, stuffy nose, and even fatigue and irritability. Some call it “rhinosinusitis” as it involves both the nose and sinus behind your cheekbones, but for this summary, let’s focus on each separately due to their unique characteristics.

This issue is quite widespread; it affects 10 to 30% of adults and children in developed regions, and around 14.6% of teenagers around the globe. Urban areas, in particular, are seeing an increase in allergic rhinitis cases.

Here’s why it’s a significant issue: allergic rhinitis prompts 2.5% of sufferers to seek medical aid, it consumes 2 million school days and 6 million workdays annually. Expenses tied to treating the condition have nearly doubled from 2000 to 2005 in the U.S.

Who is most likely to be visited by these uninvited guests? If your family has a history of encountering allergic rhinitis, you might have had some uninvited visits. Other risk factors include being male, being a firstborn, being born during pollen season, and early exposure to antibiotics or smoke. A serum IgE level >100 international units/mL before turning six, or allergen-specific IgE’s presence, may also increase your chances of experiencing allergic rhinitis.

In this series we will talk about the practical components of Allergic Rhinitis with a focus on identification of symptoms and diagnosis.

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