Nose Allergies - Definition, Types, Symptoms & Treatment Explained
A nose allergy is an utterly common type of allergy across the globe. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is one of the most common types of allergy for the nose. It mainly occurs when your immune system reacts to specific allergens such as pollen and dust, resulting in common cold symptoms such as sneezing and nose congestion.
Do you frequently suffer from such symptoms? Then you might be suffering from a nose allergy. Find out more about it from this article!
What Is a Nose Allergy?
A nose allergy occurs when your allergic reactions mainly target your nose. The tiny particles in air called allergens are usually harmless substances unless your immune system is allergic to these. When you breathe these allergens through your nose, your body releases histamine, a natural chemical. As a result, you experience major nasal problems every time you are exposed to such allergens.
Who Is at Risk of Nose Allergies?
Allergies can commonly affect anyone. However, you are more prone to developing allergic rhinitis in case of a family history of allergies. Moreover, people facing the following conditions are at a higher risk of developing this allergy.
- Asthma or eczema
- Smoking addiction
- Constant exposure to a cold and humid environment
- Air pollution in the surrounding
- Exposure to contents in hair sprays and perfumes
- Constant exposure to wood smoke, fumes and chemicals
What Are the Types of Nose Allergies?
The following types of nose allergies are commonly seen in patients.
- Seasonal allergies: As the name suggests, these nasal allergies mostly attack you during specific seasonal periods. Commonly, the air during the spring and the fall seasons carry maximum amounts of outdoor pollen.
- Perennial allergies: On the other hand, these allergies stay with you across the year. They can attack anytime. Notably, indoor pollen is likely to bombard you with such allergies.
- Non-allergic rhinitis: Usually, this type of allergy is not caused by allergens. Instead, chemicals, smoke, and other irritable environmental factors might trigger these conditions.
What Are the Symptoms of Nose Allergies?
If you suffer from this condition, you will observe some of the following symptoms of nose allergy.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itching in the nose and eyes
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Headaches and weakness
What Are the Causes of Nose Allergies?
Now that you know what nose allergy is, you must naturally be wondering about its causes. If you have this allergy, it means that your immune system deems the allergens to be harmful to your body. As a result, it produces histamine for protecting you from these allergens, which ends up causing your symptoms. Some of the common allergens causing this allergy are discussed below.
- Dust mites
- Grass pollen
- Animal dander
- Mould spores
- Cat and cockroach saliva
How to Diagnose Nose Allergies?
When you observe your symptoms and visit the physician, you will be asked to do a physical examination. A skin prick test is commonly used in this context. Doctors will prick your skin with a needle and place a small quantity of different substances and allergens to check how your body reacts to these.
On the other hand, a blood test or radioallergosorbent test (RAST) is also commonly used for diagnosing this allergy. It helps to measure the current amount of immunoglobulin E antibodies in your blood in terms of particular allergens.
How to Treat a Nose Allergy?
Now, the question is how to treat nose allergies? The following measures are frequently used.
If you wonder how to reduce nose allergies, medicines such as antihistamines are helpful. These prevent your body from creating histamine, thereby controlling your symptoms. Some common over-the-counter antihistamines drugs include fexofenadine, diphenhydramine and desloratadine.
Moreover, if you deal with stuffy nose and sinus pain, doctors might suggest decongestants for a short period. However, using these for longer might result in a rebound effect, worsening your symptoms once you stop. Some of the popular decongestants include oxymetazoline, pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.
Eye and Nasal Drops
Doctors often suggest eye drops if you face watery and itchy eyes during this allergy. Similarly, nasal sprays are also commonly prescribed for quick relief from a stuffy nose. However, these drugs also come with rebound effects. Steroid sprays are therefore used to avoid this issue. Make sure to consult our doctor before using these.
Another standard treatment of nose allergy comes in allergy shots or immunotherapy. These shots help improve your immune system and prevent allergic reactions. It starts with about one-shot 1-3 times a week. You might experience mild reactions after taking these shots.
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
For this method, doctors ask you to place a tablet under your tongue, which consists of a mixture of various allergens. Its work process is similar to allergy shots but without involving an injection. It helps to cure rhinitis and asthma allergies of pollen and dust mites. You will need to take frequent doses of SLIT for a certain period, which your doctor determines.
How to Prevent Nose Allergies?
Finally, you must be curious to know how to prevent nose allergies. The following tips can help you in this.
- Avoid outdoor pollens by staying home during the allergy seasons
- Take frequent showers
- Keep your doors and windows closed
- Clean your home and wet mop the floors
- Use vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Reduce exposure to stray animals
- Wash your hands immediately after touching pets
- Use hats and sunglasses while travelling