Allergic rhinitis: How to deal with this chronic condition that affects 30% of the population in spring

Allergic rhinitis: How to deal with this chronic condition that affects 30% of the population in spring

As the seasons change, temperatures rise and trees bloom, but so do the number of people suffering from this inflammatory disease, which is characterized by sneezing, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes and nose. This symptomatic disease becomes more severe in September and October due to peak pollen season.

Spring is just around the corner and nearly 30% of Chileans know that the coming months will be complicated, especially for those who have not received adequate treatment for respiratory allergies during the year. The first symptoms of allergic rhinitis begin to appear in people with allergies as tree pollination begins, heralding the onset of more severe symptoms in September and October, when spring is at its brightest.

As Clínica MEDS immunologist Dr. Paola Toche explains, “Allergic rhinitis is a very common disease, estimated to affect one in three people. It can manifest itself as sneezing, an itchy nose , nasal congestion, mucus production, and even loss of smell. It has a very important impact on quality of life and can reduce the quality of sleep, exercise, academic, preschool, school and work performance in adults.”

The allergist adds, “The most common complications are sinusitis and bronchial symptoms such as coughing and asthma. In the eye area, redness of the mucous membranes, watering, and an itchy feeling in the eyes and eyelids may occur. Although less common, But some patients may experience itching (stinging or skin irritation) from exposure to circulating pollen. Even people who are very allergic can develop hives when exposed to substances such as grass.”

Contrary to popular belief, the increase in allergic rhinitis symptoms this time of year is linked not only to spring flowers but also to airborne plants. In this sense, MEDS professionals guarantee “Allergies increase on this day bBasically it’s due to pollination. The amount of circulating pollen begins to increase, initially from trees, but also from grasses, and later, from weeds. “

Regarding the duration of spring allergies, Dr. Tosh said, “It depends on where you live because in the Midlands we’re seeing allergies as early as mid-August, where the first cases of allergies to certain grasses are already appearing. patient.” Later there were peak Tree pollen levels are very high, with eastern sycamores, maples and poplars showing high levels, and then the arrival of weed pollen may continue into March, April or even May due to climate change. So this seasonality that we clearly marked years ago is changing. “

According to immunologists from Clínica MEDS, allergic diseases are mainly caused by genetic factors, But there is also an environmental issue that is contributing to the increase in allergies. “It is important to know what a person is sensitive to because based on this I can know when to start and when to stop treatment so that it can be truly effective. “He said.

Regarding the treatment of patients with allergic rhinitis, clinical immunology experts assure: “The most common ones are antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, and, when ocular symptoms occur, eye drops. However, there are other types of approaches that specifically target the cause, namely immunotherapy. Allergy vaccines reduce a patient’s sensitivity to the substance they are allergic to because small but increasing doses of the allergen are injected and are standardized so that the patient begins to tolerate their exposure. “

Dr. Toche assures that due to immunotherapy “symptoms lessen over time, the need for medications decreases, and it is able to prevent the development of asthma in patients with rhinitis and improve patient quality. Therefore, it is an effective and proven The treatment is suitable for allergic respiratory diseases such as rhinitis, asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, and allergic diseases related to bees and wasps.”

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