Allergic rhinitis

Seasonal nosefuls

 Explosions send it flying

Nothing to sneeze at

 

This hallmark of Spring is somewhat of a misnomer though it is a legitimate medical diagnosis. There is no fever and it has numerous triggers besides hay. The word rhinitis derives from rhino which means nose. It’s also a year round problem for many and can occur at any age from innumerable gremlins (antigens).

This is an immune system problem of hypersensitivity; but not like autoimmune conditions such as lupus, since it involves different immune cells and chemical pathways. It’s an overreaction to foreign proteins such as pollens, dust mites, and pet danders. Surprisingly, excessive sterilizing of a child’s environment with soaps and sanitizer increases their risk of getting allergies and eczema.

Allergic rhinitis can lead to asthma and anaphylaxis. So it’s worth trying to blunt the reaction. Medications help and allergic testing and allergy shots are sometimes advised. It’s also important to limit exposure to known antigens. For example, wearing a mask at times of high exposures (if you can’t convince someone else to mow the lawn).

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