Allergic rhinitis – inflammation of the nasal mucosa – can rightfully be attributed to a disease with which 100% of the world’s population is familiar. Regardless of the causes of the disease and how severe it is, everyone faces a runny nose.
But the prevalence of this disease does not make it less threatening – if untreated, it can become the onset of more serious medical problems (sinusitis, mucosal atrophy) and make a person vulnerable to dangerous infections.
Allergic Rhinitis Causes
In most cases, the causes of the common cold are viral infections that affect the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity and cause its inflammation. If the treatment is not carried out on time, bacterial ones join the primary infection, making the course of the disease more severe, and provoking the development of a number of complications.
But with a prolonged, persistent runny nose or nasal congestion, the following factors can be the causes of these conditions:
- Diseases of the organs of the oropharynx and nasopharynx. In this case, the course of the rhinitis is supported by infections present on the palatine tonsils, in the maxillary sinuses and even in the oral cavity.
- Hypersensitivity of the immune system. Allergic rhinitis in adults and children develops in response to contact of the mucous membrane of the conjunctiva and nasal cavity with any substance that the immune system perceives as foreign.
- Dysfunction of the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity. The long course of rhinitis, whatever the cause, gradually leads to mucosal atrophy (thinning and loss of the ability to produce mucus), mucosal hypertrophy (its abnormal thickening, up to complete blockage of the nasal passages) and disruption of the neurovascular system of the mucosa.
- Mucosal injury. This list includes a wide range of circumstances – from careless cleansing of the nose and direct trauma to the mucous membrane, to foreign bodies in the nasal cavity, disrupting the blood circulation of tissues and becoming a focus of infection
But the question remains: why some people are more prone to rhinitis and suffer from it regularly, while others – relatively rarely encounter a runny nose. The reason for this uneven “distribution” is predisposing factors.
The circumstances that increase the likelihood of developing rhinitis and other acute respiratory viral infections are:
- violation of the body’s defenses caused by a chronic or acute course of diseases of the digestive system, vascular disorders, etc.;
- inappropriate nutrition with a deficiency in the diet of nutrients and biologically active substances;
- professional or daily employment, involving contact with volatile chemicals (for example, with paints and varnishes) and staying in a gas-polluted, dusty room without personal protective equipment;
- hereditary predisposition to respiratory allergies (in the family history there are / were cases when any of the relatives suffered from allergic rhinitis or conjunctivitis);
- smoking and alcohol;
- frequent and / or inappropriate use of vasoconstrictor drops or nasal sprays.
Allergic Rhinitis Treatment Principles
In the treatment of acute and chronic rhinitis of any origin, the principles of treatment are generally similar, and the goals of therapy are the following areas:
- Restoration of nasal breathing. For this, a wide range of drugs is used, the action of which is aimed at eliminating edema of the nasal mucosa and normalizing mucus production.
- Restoring the patency of the airways. In this case, surgical methods can be used that make it possible to correct a deviated nasal septum, enlarged turbinates and remove hypertrophied tissues in the nasal passages (polyps).
- Elimination of the causes of infectious rhinitis. In addition to the obvious reasons – viruses and bacteria entering the nasal cavity with inhaled air – chronic or allergic rhinitis can be caused or supported by other diseases. These include almost all infectious diseases of the oral cavity, oropharynx and nasopharynx, since the direct communication of the nasal cavity with adjacent structures allows pathogens to migrate along the mucous membrane with saliva and nasal secretions.
- Relief of symptoms. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis accompanying a runny nose – headache, appetite and sleep disorders, fever, etc., although they do not pose a direct threat to health, deplete the body’s resources and significantly slow down recovery.
How to Cure Allergic Rhinitis Permanently
A separate therapeutic tactic has been developed for situations where treatment of allergic rhinitis is required. In this case, treatment is based on the following principles:
- Identification of the allergen and exclusion of patient contact with this substance.
- Reducing the hypersensitivity of the immune system.
- Prescribing antihistamines to the patient and teaching behavior in situations where an allergic reaction begins.
With hay fever (seasonal allergy to the flowering of certain plants), sensitizing therapy may be prescribed, which is aimed at “accustoming” the human immune system to the allergen and reducing the intensity of the immune response. Such treatment of allergic rhinitis in adults and, to a limited extent, in children, is carried out in the cold season, when the influence of natural allergens is excluded.
Treatment of allergic and chronic rhinitis at home is an auxiliary form of therapy, the purpose of which is to fully cover all aspects of the disease. So, in addition to medications prescribed by a doctor, the patient can independently carry out some procedures (unless otherwise indicated by the ENT doctor):
- steam inhalations using essential oils, herbal decoctions;
- rinsing the nasal cavity with prepared solutions;
- warm foot baths;
- plentiful warm drink.
It should be remembered that at elevated body temperature, any thermal procedures are contraindicated, and if we are talking about a child, rinsing of the nasal passages is carried out only in a treatment room.
How to cure allergic rhinitis at home?
Home treatment for allergic rhinitis includes the following points:
- Elimination of contact with allergens. So, if allergy tests have identified house dust as an allergen, then heavy textile curtains, carpets and other interior items that accumulate dust should be removed from the premises.
- With hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis), you should visit a doctor in advance and get an appointment. And take antihistamines with the onset of flowering of the allergen plant. In addition, outdoor exposure should be minimized in windy conditions when pollen travels long distances.
- Treatment for allergic rhinitis may also include dietary adjustments. This is due to the fact that hyperallergenic foods (citrus fruits, honey, seafood, chocolate, etc.) can cause cross-allergies and increase the course of hay fever.
Symptoms and treatment of allergic rhinitis are closely related: the more intense the reaction of the immune system to the allergen, the more responsibly one should treat the doctor’s prescriptions. This is due to the fact that with this type of rhinitis, acute and severe immune reactions can develop, requiring emergency medical attention. Therefore, it is imperative to comply with all the doctor’s recommendations regarding taking the necessary drugs and actions that must be taken if the patient’s condition has worsened.