Allergic Rhinitis is inflammation of the upper respiratory tract lining including the nose, throat and sinuses.
Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose, post nasal drip i.e. tickling sensation of throat.
Causes include viruses such as the common cold; allergens such as pollen from trees, grass, weeds; fungus, mold spores, dust mites, animal dander and roaches.
Treatment includes antihistamines, decongestants and nasal irrigation. Common over the counter antihistamines include Claritin®, Zyrtec®, Benadryl®. Use with caution in the elderly and patients with prostate problems. Decongestants contain pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®). Use with caution in patients with high blood pressure or heart problems. Inhaled antihistamines/steroids include cromolyn sodium which is available over the counter; Flonase®, Nasonex®, Nasocort®, Astelin®, and Patanase® to name a few. Nasal irrigation includes saline nasal spray and a Neti pot.
*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.