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ENT Specialist, Head & Neck Surgeon,Bangalore
Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal

ENT Health Articles

Allegic Rhinitis

Posted on July 3, 2010 at 3:47 AM

By Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal, ENT Specialist Bangalore

Allergic rhinitis is a common condition causing considerable distress to the sufferer.Allergic rhinitis is the commonest allergy encountered in clinical pratice and constitutes more than 50% of all allergies seen in india. In fact, 1 in 6 people suffer from allergic rhinitis, which makes it the commonest chronic disease of man today and even now it’s incidence is steadily increasing.

Allergic rhinitis is characterised by

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal Discharge/ Secretions- classically watery
  • Itching - nose, eyes, throat,roof of mouth[ palate]
  • Nasal Block

What are the complications of Allergic rhinitis ?

Longstanding allergic rhinitis produces mucociliary abnormalities in the lining of the nose and respiratory passages producing complications in the nose, adjacent sinuses , ear ,throat and lower air passages.This commonly manifests in the form of

  • Sinusitis [producing facial pain, headache, nasal secretions, nasal block]
  • Nasal polyposis[development of mass within the nose-> patient may perceive worsening of symptoms or that medicines for allergy are no longer effective]
  • Ear Affliction:Eustachian tube dysfunction, otitis media [affects functioning of the ear due to affliction of tube connecting the back of the nose to the ear. This can produce ear fullness, ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness,tinnitus]
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Asthma -Asthma and allergic rhinitis frequently co-exist, with allergic rhinitisprecedeeing deveopment of asthma in about 45 % of patients. It is now well documented in medical literature that adequate nasal treatment can improve pulmonary functions. Patients with nasal allergy often have a hypersensitive airway ie they are at risk or may in fact be having bronchial asthma.Early diagnosis, adequate treatment of allergic rhinits is an important preventive measure for development of asthma

Due to the high incidence of allergic rhinitis in our country and locality we should be aware of the complications of this common condition.

How is Allergic rhinitis Diagnosed?

Assessment of person with allergic symptoms will include a detailed history and physical examination by the ENT Specialist. Certain conditions closely mimic allergic rhinitis [e.g. vasomotor rhinitis, allergic fungal sinusitis] and it is very important to clinch the diagnosis.Often the patient would have been taking various over the counter anti-allergy medicines for long periods when actually he is suffering from some other condition altogether! Hematological investigations and radiological assesment may be required based on the individual patient.

What are the precautions if you have Allergic rhinitis ?

  • Be aware of your allergens
  • Be aware of the complications of Allergic rhinitis
  • Get a periodic check up by your ENT specialist-Patients with allergic rhinitis should periodically be assessed with real time endoscopes for detailed evaluation of their sinonasal status for early detection of complications and sequelae.
  • Allergy proof your home - see next article

Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal


Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgery

Sonia & Prateek's ENT Speciality Center,Sahakaranagar, Bangalore




ENT Specialist Bangalore

Categories: Nose and Sinuses, Paediatric ENT, Allergy