When the mucous membranes lining the inside surface of the nose get inflamed, a condition called rhinitis results. Rhinitis has two broad types - allergic and non-allergic. Allergic rhinitis, or also known as nasal allergy, is much more common, so this article will focus more on it.

Perennial or Seasonal?
Symptoms of nasal allergy include constant sneezing; rhinorrhea (more commonly known as runny nose); nasal congestion; watery eyes; and sensation of itch in the eyes, ears, nose or throat. When these symptoms occur during certain times of the year, like when molds or pollen count are especially high, that’s when you call it seasonal. Otherwise, if the symptoms occur all year round, the allergic rhinitis is termed perennial. Perennial allergic rhinitis triggers include dust, dust mites, cockroaches, animal fur and dander.

Breaking Free
The key to breaking free from nasal allergy is to be observant. Take note of the allergens that specifically trigger your attacks, that way, you can avoid them more effectively. In cases of seasonal rhinitis, minimize your exposure to pollen and molds by staying indoors as much as possible when their counts are at peak. Of course, whenever that cannot be afforded, the outside environment must be limited by measures such as closing the car windows and using air conditioners and/or purifiers. Activities such as gardening or jogging in an open field must also be avoided or altered to minimize exposure. On the other hand, to avoid attacks of perennial allergic rhinitis, the places you frequent must be kept dust and dust mites-free as much possible. This can be done by opting for washable curtains instead of heavy drapes, blinds or carpets that cannot be as easily washed or cleaned. You should also stay away from stuff toys and other items that easily collect and trap dust. Pillowcases and sheets must not be in place for more than a month.

Given the environment people currently live in today, allergens can be found everywhere. Always remember, the tactic “know your enemy before you attack” may well be applied in order to win the battle against allergic rhinitis.

Despite these measures to prevent nasal allergy attacks, it may still be necessary to medicate at times. The most common medication prescribed for allergic rhinitis is an anti-histamine. There are various types of anti-histamines. You might have heard of diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine and loratidine. Some of these medications include drowsiness as a side effect, so be sure to take them as your doctor has prescribed. Inform your doctor if your job entails driving or operating machines.

On the other hand, some compounding pharmacies like Sinus Dynamics, customize sinusitis and nasal allergy medications to make them compatible for use with nebulizers (like SinusAero) or medicated irrigators (like ActiveSinus). The use of irrigators and nebulizers is promising and is a relatively new way to administering drugs intranasally (through the nose). Because the nasal passages are lined with numerous blood vessels, the active ingredients in the drugs are much more easily absorbed. Thus, relief is obtained much faster.

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