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Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis



Rhinitis is the medical term for for irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose


  • immediate allergic rhinitis: nose pruritis, irritation, nasal itching, which in turn trigger sneezing, rhinorea (runny nose) and secretions. The reaction occurs immediately while incontact with the allergen, and calms down progressively after contact.
  • chronic or perennial allergic rhinitis: long-term nasal obstruction (stuffy nose), secretions. These reactions are the result of a delayed allergic inflammatory reaction.

Etiology (cause)

  • immediate allergic rhinitis: usually triggered by airbonre alergens such as pollens (seasonal exposure) or dander (sporadic exposure), i.e. cat dander or dog dander
  • chronic allergic rhinitis: usually caused by house dust-mites or cat dander (repeated / chronic exposure)

NB : be aware of possible non-allergic etiologies, i.e. eventual nasal deviation or polyps which induce a mechanical obstruction

Relief medication

  • nasal spray with antihistaminics, cromoglycates or corticoïds
  • if necessary, antihistaminics tablets can also be prescribed
  • vaso-constrictor sprays sold over the counter are to be avoided as they induce in a few weeks irreversible vascular lesions in the nose (called “medicinal chronic rhinitis”). They also have a “rebound” effect when vasoconstrictors are stopped, making coming off this medicine difficult.


First line of treatment is allergen eviction if possible.Long-term cure is obtained thanks to desensitization (allergic vaccination).


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