Allergic rhinitis is caused by inhaling external allergens resulting in itchiness of the nose, sneezing, running nose, nose block, or other related symptoms. Allergic rhinitis is common in people with a family history of the allergy and has a higher prevalence among individuals with allergic body conditions as well as those with a weaker immune system or long period of exposure to external allergens.
Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include dust, pollen, ticks from animal fur, chemicals, and perfumes, etc. If left untreated, over time, allergic rhinitis may lead to asthma or other respiratory disorder. In general, 1 allergic rhinitis case exists in every 4 Singaporeans, with the majority in their early childhood and teens.
When allergens are inhaled by a person with allergic rhinitis, it results in the dilation of the micro blood vessels of the mucous membrane which in turn triggers the excessive secretion of mucous fluid by the related nasal glands. Over secretion of mucous fluid results in various nasal related allergic symptoms.
In the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine, allergic rhinitis is due to qi deficiency of the lungs resulting in the stasis of the energy flow in the body after exposure to cold external wind (external factors). Herbal prescription and acupuncture are deemed effective against allergic rhinitis. Common herbs used include angelica dahurica, ligusticum striatum, wild ginger, milkvetch, Chinese yam, Magnolia liliiflora, etc.
Minimising the exposure to dust through proper household hygiene and cleanliness is of utmost importance in the prevention of allergic rhinitis attacks. Consume daily requirements of fruits and vegetables together with a regular exercise routine may boost the body’s immunity to counter such allergic reactions. It is also advisable to avoid drinking ice water at all times.