Allergic rhinitis is a disorder of the nose. It happens when the mucous membrane lining the nose and throat becomes inflamed and swollen and produces large quantities of mucous. This happens because of exposure to inhaled allergens such as house dust, animal dander, pollens and moulds. Typical nasal symptoms include runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing, itchy nose, and post nasal drip.
Non-nasal symptoms include itchy, tearing red eyes, itchy ears and palate, sore throat, cough, loss of smell, lack of sleep and irritability.
These symptoms can go on for weeks or months at a time. If you think about it, it is like having a ‘cold in the head’ that doesn’t go away. This has an enormous impact on the quality of life of people who suffer from allergic rhinitis. They have difficulty sleeping peacefully, they struggle to concentrate at work or at school, their social interactions are impaired and they often feel tired and irritable.