The winters are here and so is the annoying allergy. It occurs when the body reacts to a foreign substance known as allergen like dust mites, pollen, pet dander or a food that doesn't cause a reaction in most people. Allergen makes the body produce antibodies presuming they are harmful. When exposed to it again, these antibodies can release a number of immune chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.
Allergy can be allergic rhinitis, food allergy, skin allergy or drug allergy.
I shall be writing here about Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis in Pakistan during 2007 was 24.62 percent.  It is mostly seen during winters since people spend more time indoors and get exposed to dust mites.
Common symptoms are
- Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Watery, red or swollen eyes
Allergic patients are more likely to develop asthma, an immune system reaction that affects the airways and breathing. Patients having allergy are at a higher risk of developing Sinusitis, an infection of the sinuses and infections of the ears or lungs.
Diagnosis is Clinical and can get a blood test Serum Ig E level.
Treatment is Avoid the ALLERGEN.If, for instance, allergic to pollen, stay inside with windows and doors closed when pollen is high. If allergic to dust mites, dust and vacuum and wash bedding often, maintaining low humidity, regularly using a vacuum with a fine filter such as a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are incredibly effective at capturing almost every size of particle. They can capture viruses, bacteria, pollen, PM2.5, allergens, and more and replace carpeting with hard flooring. Take anti allergy medicines, oral or IV depending on the severity of symptoms. Steroids oral or IV also depending on the severity of the symptoms. Steam inhalation and Neti pot are recommended to drain the sinuses and prevent infections. Neti pot can clear the nostrils to allow free breathing, removing excess mucus. reduce pollen or allergens in nasal passages, relieve nasal dryness, reduce cold and flu symptoms and alleviates sinus headaches.
My patients who developed recurrent sinusitis secondary to allergic rhinitis. From the time I prescribed then Neti pot to drain the sinuses their sinusitis has subsided.