It’s Spring, which we all know is hay fever season. 20% of us suffer from Allergic Rhinitis – otherwise known as hay fever. It’s characterised by an itchy, runny nose, frequent sneezing, watery eyes and your sinuses, throat and ears can also be affected.
The impact on quality of life can be enormous; affecting mood, concentration, productivity at work and learning for students. There are also links between Allergic Rhinitis and sleep apnoea from reduced oxygen levels causing disturbed sleep.
The scholastic boffin community has only quite recently recognised what many suffers had already worked out years ago- the link between asthma and Allergic Rhinitis. 80% of Asthmatics suffer from Allergic Rhinitis.
Causes of Allergic Rhinitis
Most common causes are pollen, dust mites, mould and pets.
Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis is caused by tree pollens, grasses and weeds which are carried by the wind. Perennial (year-round) Allergic Rhinitis is generally caused by pet dander, dust mite and mould allergens. Other irritants can include scents (perfume, incense sticks) and tobacco smoke.
Ways to manage hay fever – medication
Identify your triggers with your Doctor, this may be done through skin pricks allergy tests and or blood tests. A management plan can be formulated with respect pollen, pet dander, dust mite and mould. Common medications include antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, nasal sprays, eye drops and immunotherapy programs.
Ventilation and Air Purification – non medication
You can’t control exposure to allergens outside, however in your home, office or apartment it is possible to reduce airborne triggers through air purifiers or whole home ventilation systems which filter the air with high grade filtration. Advantages for some sufferers may include reduced side effects from less/eliminated medication. Each individual person has different triggers and therefore no two people are exactly the same.
It is possible that Allergic Rhinitis can be managed either through medical or non-medical options (ventilation/air purifiers) or a combination of both resulting in a higher quality of life. Your home, apartment or office should be a sanctuary to gain some respite from the triggers which cause you to “flair up”.
If you make an effort to keep the triggers down and living space ventilated you will see a reduction in hay fever. Worth the effort, don’t you think?