Allergic Rhinitis: All You Need To Know About Them
The beginning of summer and spring can mean several things for different people. For individuals who tend to have overactive immune systems, they may experience a range of undesirable symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose and a perennial runny nose.
However, allergies are not only strictly restricted to a particular season of the year. With a warm and humid weather all year round in Singapore, it can commonly occur upon exposure to triggers, otherwise known as allergens. Even though respiratory allergies or allergic rhinitis may seem to be part and parcel of life for some people, it need not always be the case.
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
According to HealthHub Singapore, allergic rhinitis, or hay fever , affects over 13.1% of the nation’s population1. It is characterized by nasal symptoms caused by tiny particles of allergens in the air that is inhaled. Examples of common outdoor and indoor allergens include dust mites , animal/pet dander, mold and pollen .
The immune system treats these allergens as foreign substances and releases large amounts of antibodies ( histamine ) in response, causing allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Types of respiratory allergies3
Outdoor seasonal allergies
There may not be 4 seasons in Singapore but outdoor allergies can take place throughout the year, with the warm and humid weather. Spending a considerable amount of time outdoors increases exposure to common outdoor allergy triggers such as mold and pollen from trees and plants.
These allergic reactions can take place throughout the year too, which is why they are sometimes referred to as perennial allergies . They can be more prevalent in Singapore and are commonly caused by allergens from something as common as dust to animal dander from your furry friend.
Allergic rhinitis symptoms
The symptoms of an allergy can take place almost instantly once you are exposed to an allergen 3. Typically, the symptoms of an allergy include mild to moderately severe symptoms like:
- Runny Nose
- Dry cough
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Excessive tiredness
Tips to manage and treat allergic rhinitis
The prevention methods that you will have to implement can differ depending on the substance that your body is allergic to4. These methods include:
- Implement a rigorous hand washing routine
- Refrain from touching your nose when outdoors
- Use vacuums to remove excess dirt or pollen present in the house
- Stop pets from lying on or in your bed
- Invest in a dehumidifier for indoor protection
Typically, the best way is to avoid the allergen that triggers the condition in the first place. However, you can rest easy knowing that most cases of allergic rhinitis can be managed effectively and there are several options available. These include:
This form of allergy medication focuses on reducing your body’s ability to release histamine , therefore, preventing the onset of an allergy. Antihistamines are usually consumed in tablet or syrup form, as in the case of Clarityn®. The active ingredient in Clarityn® is a histamine inhibitor known as loratadine. A combined regime of loratadine with nasal hygiene spray is known to be an effective management of allergic rhinitis.
Clarityn® is able to effectively provide fast, non-drowsy relief for allergy symptoms caused by 200+ different airborne allergens.
This form of treatment works best for a short duration to treat an especially bad case of blocked nose or sinus pressure. Since nasal congestion occurs due to the inflammation of the skin in the nose, decongestants can be helpful by narrowing the blood vessels present in the nose. Thereby, it is possible to quickly reduce the blood flowing to the nose. In most cases, these decongestants can be taken as oral (Clarityn-D®*) or nasal (Afrin) formats.
Start breathing better in 30 minutes with Clarityn-D®
Nasal hygiene sprays
Regular cleansing of nasal passages through nasal irrigation can effectively keep your nose free of allergens and irritants. A drug-free isotonic spray like ClariCare® is clinically proven to alleviate nasal allergy symptoms and is safe to use daily. It can also be paired with nasal steroids for better outcomes in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.
Steroid nasal sprays
To tackle individual symptoms like a stuffy nose or more severe allergic rhinitis symptoms, you can consider using a corticosteroid-releasing nasal spray for allergies. Steroids, especially corticosteroids, are known to reduce inflammation and soothe immune responses. Therefore, these nasal sprays and even eye drops can drastically reduce the ill-effects of allergic rhinitis. However, avoid resorting to it unless prescribed by a healthcare professional.
In addition to the above options, you can also look into other treatments like immunotherapy.
Allergic Rhinitis can be more than just nasal discomfort and can affect your overall quality of life. Knowing the causes and remedies of allergy rhinitis can help you live free from allergies and feel your best to enjoy everyday activities.
*Read the patient information leaflet before use. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional.
^Relief of allergy symptoms at 30 minutes
- Allergic Rhinitis. Accessed November 11, 2021.
- Respiratory Allergies: A General Overview of Remedies, Delivery Systems, and the Need to Progress. Assessed September 13, 2021.