During the rainy season, it is common for people to develop runny noses. But the condition can also happen in dry weather when a person inhales a lot of dust and dry air. In both cases, this may lead to clogged nostrils or a stuffy nose, in what is commonly known as allergic rhinitis.
When a person with allergic rhinitis breathes in an allergen such as pollen, mold, animal dander or dust, the body releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
These include sneezing and itching in the nose, eyes and throat. Most patients usually self-medicate when they have such allergies. The common medicine used in this case is cetirizine, which works by keeping the symptoms from becoming severe .
Allergic rhinitis usually causes what is known as intermittent symptoms. This means that the symptoms can last for less than four days per week. They are also considered mild if a person has normal sleep and is able to engage in their day-to-day activities without being disrupted.
For people who develop persistent or severe allergic rhinitis, however, cetirizine may not solve the problem. In this case, corticosteroids are recommended. On the market, they come as nasal sprays, with doses measured in microgrammes.
It is considered one of the most effective medications because it is applied at the point where the symptom is. And by spraying in the nose, symptoms that cause itchy eyes can be managed without a person having to use eye drops. However, they should not be sprayed for more than three days.
Avamys (fluticasone furoate) and nasonex (mometasone furoate), which are steroids are also considered effective in treating allergic rhinitis.
It is recommended that they be taken once a day. The effects from these drugs take longer than one day to set in. They are also usually combined with anti-histamine (cetirizine) for the first 72 hours, depending on the recommendation from the doctor or pharmacist. Most anti-histamines taken by mouth can be bought without a prescription
The medication is recommended for children over the age of two.
The writer is a pharmacist
SOURCE: Daily Monitor