What is Allergic Rhinitis?

177257469What is it?

Allergic Rhinitis / Hayfever

It’s an allergy that mainly affects the nose.


What are the Symptoms?

Frequent sneezing, constantly blocked or runny nose, itchy nose and/or eyes.

Also snoring, mouth breathing, headaches and night-time cough.


What causes it?

Exposure to dust mite, pollen, mould, animal fur and cigarette smoke. Hay fever caused by pollen is generally worse in spring and early summer. The other triggers cause symptoms all year round.


Why is it important?

If left untreated rhinitis can cause obstructive sleep apnoea, poor sleep, daytime tiredness, worsening of asthma and increased risk of sinus infection.


Tips for reducing pollen exposure

  • Stay indoors until after midday (if possible). This will reduce your exposure. Try to avoid going out on windy days or after thunderstorms.
  • Wear sun glasses to protect your eyes.
  • Do not mow the grass, and stay inside when it is being mown. If mowing is unavoidable, wear a mask. .
  • Keep windows closed both at home and particularly when in your car (and where possible use recirculating air conditioning in your car).
  • Do not picnic in parks or in the country during the pollen season.
  • Try to plan your holidays out of the pollen season or holiday at the beach.
  • Check the pollen forecast at http://www.weatherzone.com.au/pollen-index


Effective treatments

  • Trigger avoidance
  • Non-sedating antihistamines ( e.g. Claratyne and Zyrtec)
  • Steroid nasal sprays ( e.g. Avamys, Nasonex)
  • Nasal irrigation




Dr John Widger

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