Thursday, September 30, 2010

Understanding Allergic Rhinitis

This condition refers to allergyn symptoms associated with the chronic inflammation typical of hay fever: a perpetually stuffy, runny nose, sneezing, puffy bags and dark circles under the eyes, and a puffy face. Allergic rhinitis can lead to chronic earaches, especially in children, and to inflamed sinuses (sinusitis). It is more common among children, but can occur at any age. Allergic rhinitis is the result of a specific type of ANTIBODY, IgE, which binds to mast cells, defensive cells of the IMMUNE SYSTEM, to stimulate inflammation. Therefore allergic rhinitis can be measured by a skin test. Nasal symptoms occur immediately after exposure to common allergens, including pollen, animal dander, house dust, mites, insects, MOLD, and foods. Identification of the offending substance and reduced exposure are important; complete avoidance may be curative.

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