One of the most common forms of rhinitis is allergic rhinitis, caused by substances called allergens, and include airborne pollen and animal dander (dried skin flakes and saliva), or droppings from cockroaches and dust mites. Symptoms include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itchiness in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, eyes and ears. The main treatment is the avoidance of the identified allergen.

For symptomatic relief, one may consider the following:


These block histamine, one of the most important mediators of the allergic response. Most of them are available without a prescription. Oral antihistamines may also be combined with decongestants to alleviate both a runny and blocked nose.


They come in the form of nasal sprays that reduce and control the impact of all or most of the mediators that can cause inflammation in the nose. These improve the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including itching, runny nose and congestion. Side effects of using inhaled steroids include nosebleeds, dryness and sore throat.


They are important in the case of allergic rhinitis because congestion is the most troublesome symptom for the majority of patients with allergic rhinitis. They are available in both oral and topical formulations. Topical decongestants should not be used longer than between three and five days continuously to avoid rebound congestion. However, you should avoid decongestants if you suffer from high blood pressure, thyroid problems, heart disease or diabetes. For those with these conditions, use of saline or seawater nasal sprays would be preferable to relieve the congestion.

If self-medication fails to relieve symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor as rhinitis symptoms can also be associated with structural problems or polyps, which require surgical intervention.

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