How long does it last?
Symptoms tend to be present for the duration of allergen exposure if untreated.
How serious is it?
Although the condition is not life threatening, allergic rhinitis has a profound impact on quality of life. It significantly affects social life, sleep quality, school and work performance and rates of absenteeism.
What complications may follow this condition?
Complications of allergic rhinitis may include sinusitis, otitis media, sleep apnoea and mouth breathing.
How often might you expect to suffer from allergic rhinitis in a year?
Symptom frequency depends on allergen sensitivity and exposure. People who are only sensitive to grass pollens may only have symptoms during the spring and summer months. People who are allergic to house dust mites or indoor moulds may experience symptoms all year round. People who are allergic to multiple allergens may have symptoms all year round with seasonal symptom flares.
Who is at greatest risk of developing allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is part of a group of allergic conditions that includes asthma and eczema. People who have these conditions are said to be ‘atopic’. Atopy tends to run in families. If a person has family members who have any of these allergic conditions they have an increased chance of developing allergic rhinitis or other atopic conditions. Environmental factors also play a role.
How can you prevent allergic rhinitis?
Avoidance of the specific allergens to which a person is allergic prevents allergy symptoms. The trouble is that it is difficult to avoid allergens that are present in the air.