Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms

by Mike Herrington - Date: 2007-04-21 - Word Count: 550 Share This!

The nasal symptoms typical of seasonal allergic rhinitis are caused by lightweight pollen from plants that depend on the wind for pollination. Pollen from plants that depend on insects for pollination, such as goldenrod and dandelions, are too heavy to become airborne and, therefore, cause nasal symptoms only when you directly smell the plants.

This distinction is important, as many people think that goldenrod, the gold-colored weed they see along the roadside in late summer and fall, is the trigger for their hay fever. However, this is not the case. Rather, the slender, candelabra-shaped ragweed plant, which is often found in the same area, is the major cause of allergic nasal, chest and eye symptoms.

The weather conditions and time of day can affect the severity of symptoms. Ragweed is an example of a plant that releases its pollen in the early morning hours. The pollen is then carried by the wind. It thus makes sense to keep the bedroom windows closed when going to bed at night and, if necessary, to use air conditioning, instead.

Open windows on a breezy fall morning provide an ideal setting for allergy symptoms to flare. Rain tends to clear the ragweed pollen from the air but enhances mold growth, which can trigger allergy symptoms in mold allergic individuals.

Year-round symptoms of of allergic rhinitis can be triggered by house dust, molds, feather pillows, down comforters, and animal dander. It is not unusual to have both seasonal and year-round allergy symptoms. Exposure to dust is increased when there are lots of objects and clutter in a room. Bookshelves filled with books are a typical place for dust to settle.

Nasal congestion, runny nose, itchiness of the nose, and frequent sneezing episodes are hallmarks of allergic rhinitis. The mucus from the nose is thin and clear, often flowing continuously. If the mucus is discolored (like yellow or green), this suggests that you may have an infection. With allergic rhinitis, the mucus membranes of the nose are usually congested; this can put pressure on the opening of the sinuses, causing sinus pressure and headaches.

It can also put pressure on the opening of the eustachian tube, which leads to the ears, thereby causing pressure in the ears. In addition to nasal symptoms, the eyes may be quite itchy and runny and asthma symptoms may flare. Postnasal drip from allergic rhinitis can also cause subtle chest symptoms, such as dry, hacking cough, which can be mistaken for asthma symptoms.

Going back to seasonal allergic rhinitis, as said earlier, the major culprit is airborne pollen. Because the particles are so small, they are not easy to ward off, except by, perhaps, using a face mask or a scarf while outdoors. Since you're at the mercy of the weather, your exposure is not likely to decrease until seasons change, so your best bet really is to keep a preventive and cautious stance against a possible allergic reaction.

Nevertheless, pollen caused allergies wear off over time, eventually (usually within an hour or so) and are not a major cause for alarm. Simply drink lots of water to wash the particles off your airways and stay indoors as much as possible. The less exposed you are, the better your chances of instant recovery. Over the counter drugs are also available to help temper the inflammations caused by pollen allergy.

Related Tags: allergy, symptoms, pollen, seasonal allergic rhinitis

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