Allergies are caused when the body reacts to a variety of irritants also known as allergens. When exposed to an allergen the body responds by reacting or over reacting to the irritant. It releases chemicals called histamines designed by the immune system to fight the intruder. Unfortunately the reaction is usually a hypersensitivity and an over reaction which creates the allergic symptoms.
Allergic Rhinitis can be a fancy name for hay fever. Rhinitis itself is defined as inflamed nasal tissues. The allergic reaction causes a variety of symptoms usually related to the mucous membranes of the nose throat, sinuses and lungs. Some of the more obvious symptoms are nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy runny nose, red irritated eyes, wheezing, headache, coughing and others. Itching of the nose, eyes and throat can also be symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
This tends to be considered a seasonal allergy, where people react to a variety of airborne particles. Initially it was thought by the medical community that hay fever was primarily a pollen allergy, however in recent years all the causative allergens are being lumped together with only vague descriptive separations such as indoor and outdoor allergens. Perennial allergic rhinitis is the name for hay fever that never seems to go away. So in effect it is a continuous reaction to a variety of allergens. If you think you have come down with a cold complete with sniffles, cough and congestion. It might be just a cold. However, if it lasts longer than 7 days or so it is probably allergic rhinitis.
There is a huge variety of allergens that can cause allergic rhinitis. Some of the most common are pollen from trees, flowers and grasses, molds, houseplants, air pollution, animal dander, dust mites, fumes from paint, gasoline, and perfumes, and cigarette smoke. It can take some serious detective work to isolate the specific allergen at work in susceptible people. Including the airborne allergens allergic rhinitis can be caused by foods and medications. Certain people react to corn, wheat, dairy products and others by showing symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
There are a number of over the counter and prescription medications to help relieve the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis. Fast and slow acting antihistamines are the general drug of choice. There are also a number of natural and alternative cures that will help with the problems. For some sufferers a simple change in diet can relieve a large percentage of symptoms. Try eliminating corn, wheat, dairy and soy from your diet for 2 weeks. If your symptoms get significantly better, add these items back into you diet one at a time every 24 hours and see which one causes the symptoms to return. This simple self test is one of the easiest ways to determine food allergies. It only takes a short period of time before you can see a difference, it is easy to do and gives fairly good evidence of which items you might be allergic to.