What allergy causes blocked ears
It’s hard to completely avoid potential allergens, but you can take steps to reduce exposure to a specific allergen you know or suspect is triggering your allergic rhinitis.
This will assist improve your symptoms.
If your condition is mild, you can also assist reduce the symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications, such as non-sedating antihistamines, and by regularly rinsing your nasal passages with a salt water solution to hold your nose free of irritants.
See a GP for advice if you own tried taking these steps and they own not helped.
They may prescribe a stronger medication, such as a nasal spray containing corticosteroids.
Allergic rhinitis can lead to complications in some cases.
- sinusitis – an infection caused by nasal inflammation and swelling that prevents mucus draining from the sinuses
- nasal polyps – abnormal but non-cancerous (benign) sacs of fluid that grow inside the nasal passages and sinuses
- middle ear infections – infection of part of the ear located directly behind the eardrum
These problems can often be treated with medication, although surgery is sometimes needed in severe or long-term cases.
Find out more about the complications of allergic rhinitis
When to see a GP
Visit a GP if the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are disrupting your sleep, preventing you carrying out everyday activities, or adversely affecting your performance at work or school.
A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis will generally be based on your symptoms and any possible triggers you may own noticed.
If the cause of your condition is uncertain, you may be referred for allergy testing.
Find out more about diagnosing allergic rhinitis
What causes rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is triggered by allergens. Allergens include, but are not limited to, pollen, mold, dust and animal dander. When a person with allergic rhinitis breathes in an allergen, their body reacts by releasing chemicals that lead to allergy symptoms. Allergic rhinitis may vary based on the time of year, since weather impacts the quantity of pollen in the air.
For example, on boiling, dry days there will be more pollen and allergens in the air. On cool, damp days allergens and pollen are washed to the ground.
When blood vessels in an individual’s nose expand, the nasal lining fills with blood and fluid, leading to nonallergic rhinitis.
Things that may trigger nonallergic include weather changes, infection, certain foods/drinks and hormone changes.
What causes allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is caused by the immune system reacting to an allergen as if it were harmful.
This results in cells releasing a number of chemicals that cause the inside layer of your nose (the mucous membrane) to become swollen and too much mucus to be produced.
Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include pollen (this type of allergic rhinitis is known as hay fever), as well as mould spores, home dust mites, and flakes of skin or droplets of urine or saliva from certain animals.
Find out more about the causes of allergic rhinitis
Not every cases of rhinitis are caused by an allergic reaction.
Some cases are the result of:
- oversensitive blood vessels in the nose
- an infection, such as the common cold
- overuse of nasal decongestants
This type of rhinitis is known as non-allergic rhinitis.
Sheet final reviewed: 29 April 2019
Next review due: 29 April 2022
What is rhinitis?
Often referred to as nasal allergies, rhinitis occurs when a person inhales allergens. This may lead to nasal itching, sneezing, discharge and stuffiness as well as itching of the ears or roof of mouth.
Allergic rhinitis is a common medical problem, affecting over 15 percent of the population.
There are two types of rhinitis: allergic and nonallergic. Allergic rhinitis is often worse during spring and drop, when pollen levels are high. The immune system responds to allergens by releasing chemical mediators and histamine. This leads to symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy eyes.
One-third of individuals with rhinitis do not suffer from allergies.
Nonallergic rhinitis is typically seen in adults and symptoms final year-round. If your doctor concludes that your symptoms are not the result of allergies or another sinus problem, you may own nonallergic rhinitis.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose.
These symptoms usually start soon after being exposed to an allergen.
Some people only get allergic rhinitis for a few months at a time because they’re sensitive to seasonal allergens, such as tree or grass pollen. Other people get allergic rhinitis every year round.
Most people with allergic rhinitis own mild symptoms that can be easily and effectively treated.
But for some people symptoms can be severe and persistent, causing sleep problems and interfering with everyday life.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occasionally improve with time, but this can take numerous years and it’s unlikely that the condition will vanish completely.