Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen, dust, mould, or flakes of skin from certain animals.
It's a very common condition, estimated to affect around one in every five people in the UK.
Allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose. These symptoms usually start soon after being exposed to an allergen. Some people only get allergic rhinitis for a few months at a time because they're sensitive to seasonal allergens, such as tree or grass pollen. Other people get allergic rhinitis all year round. Most people with allergic rhinitis have mild symptoms that can be easily and effectively treated. But for some symptoms can be severe and persistent, causing sleep problems and interfering with everyday life. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occasionally improve with time, but this can take many years and it's unlikely that the condition will disappear completely.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by the immune system reacting to an allergen as if it were harmful. This results in cells releasing a number of chemicals that cause the inside layer of your nose (the mucous membrane) to become swollen and excessive levels of mucus to be produced.
Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include pollen – this type of allergic rhinitis is known as hay fever – as well as mould spores, house dust mites, and flakes of skin or droplets of urine or saliva from certain animals.
Read more about the causes of allergic rhinitis.
Nasal sprays are used on their own or combined with tablets and eye drops. They control sneezing and runny nose. Very little active drug is absorbed into the body.
There are three types of nasal sprays for which we carry out consultations:
Steroid nasal spray: Beconase, need to be used for a few days before they start to work. They are for continuous daily use through the hay fever season. Maximum use 12 weeks. NOT to be used at the same time as Dymista nasal spray.
Antihistamine nasal spray: Rhinolast, works within hours and can be used on an as needed basis. Maximum use 12 weeks. NOT to be used at the same time as Dymista nasal spray.
Dymista: Nasal spray which combines an antihistamine and a steroid in one spray. It has a dual antihistamine action and steroid action. It is more convenient and likely to be more effective than a steroid or an antihistamine spray on its own. Dymista should NOT be used at the same time as other hay fever nasal sprays. Combining a steroid nasal spray with an antihistamine spray is usually more effective than either one alone.
Price: Small charge