Allergic Rhinitis: Causes, Symptoms & Types

By Dr. Salil S. Bendre in Centre for Chest & Respiratory Diseases

Apr 24 , 2023 | 3 min read


Many people are not aware of allergic rhinitis or what we commonly refer to as hay fever, so I sat down with an expert from one of the best ENT hospital in MumbaiWe came to know about the details of allergic rhinitis and also many common myths associated with allergic rhinitis were destructed down in this conversation. Let's dig into the insights about allergic rhinitis.

Is allergic rhinitis seasonal?

Yes, allergic rhinitis is seasonal but it can perennial as well. Seasonal allergic rhinitis can occur in any seasons be it spring, summer or early phase of the autumn. Usually, winter is not the season which leads to seasonal allergic rhinitis.


What is responsible for causing seasonal allergic rhinitis?

As the name itself suggests, seasonal allergic rhinitis is caused by the atmospheric presence of allergens that could be anything right from the type of plants in your surroundings to the airborne mould spores. The individual cam themselves cannot be sure of what exactly is causing the allergy until and unless they seek professional advice.

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What can possibly cause perennial allergic rhinitis?

No one can bet on the exact allergens but elements like the hair of pet animals and moulds can cause allergic rhinitis any time of the year. In addition to that, insects like cockroaches and dust mites are also responsible for causing perennial allergic rhinitis.


Since you are an experienced ENT doctor working with a renowned ENT specialist hospital in Mumbai, can you state the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

Yes, of course. The most common symptom of allergic rhinitis is a runny nose which has no reason visible as such. Sometimes, sneezing is frequent and the eyes and mouth of the affected person can itch. Often, the nose gets blocked, this can also interfere with the quality of sleep and the individual may feel tired throughout the day.


Who are the best specialists in India for treating allergic rhinitis?

The basic advice I would like to give to anyone who is looking forward for treating their condition of allergic rhinitis is to consult either a government authorized or a registered private hospital, make sure that they have expertise in treat this condition. See, one does not have to travel a long distance, particularly for treating allergic rhinitis. In fact, patients should prefer to look out in their local areas so that their health does not deteriorate any further.


Are there any medications for treating allergic rhinitis?

Doctors recommend medications primarily for alleviating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. To treat nasal congestion, the preferred medications are usually intranasal corticosteroids, they are helpful against itchy and running nose and sneezing as well. Decongestant is preferred for treating a stuffy nose. Prescriptions can also be provided by looking at exactly what is causing the allergies. If the allergen is histamine related, then, antihistamines are recommended. One has to make sure that antihistamines are taken only as per the prescriptions, considering the risks of side-effects they have such as performance impairment, professional advice is a necessity.


As an ENT specialist in Mumbai, what preventive measures can you advise to keep the patients suffering from allergic rhinitis safe?

A primary precaution would be to ensure that the entry of pollen grains is kept restricted especially during the high pollen periods. If one is travelling in public transport, use a safety mask to cover your face, especially the nose. Use of sunglasses can be helpful against the risks of allergens exposure in open places. Keeping the surroundings clean is essential to bar the growth of dust mites and moulds. Animals can be exposed to allergens because of their free spirit, limit contact with stray animals and properly wash your hands after playing with your pets.