Hay fever; Nasal congestion - allergies
Seasonal allergic rhinitis tends to diminish as a person ages. The earlier the symptoms start, the greater the chances for improvement. People who develop seasonal allergic rhinitis in early childhood tend not to have the allergy in adulthood. In some cases, allergies go into remission for years and then return later in life. People who develop allergies after age 20, however, tend to continue to have allergic rhinitis at least into middle age.
Although allergic rhinitis is not considered a serious condition, it nonetheless can interfere with many important aspects of life. Surveys of nasal allergy sufferers report that symptoms such as feeling tired, miserable, or irritable are present in 50 - 75% of patients. Allergic rhinitis can interfere with work or school performance.
People with allergic rhinitis, particularly those with perennial allergic rhinitis, may experience sleep disorders and daytime fatigue. Often they attribute this to medication, but studies suggest congestion may be the culprit in these symptoms. Patients who have severe allergic rhinitis tend to have worse sleep problems, including snoring, than those with mild allergic rhinitis.
Asthma and allergies often coexist. Patients with allergic rhinitis often have asthma or are increased risk of developing it. Allergic rhinitis is also associated with eczema (atopic dermatitis), an allergic skin reaction characterized by itching, scaling, and red swollen skin. Chronic uncontrolled allergic rhinitis can worsen asthma attacks and eczema.
Any chronic rhinitis, whether allergic or nonallergic, can cause swelling in the turbinate, which may become persistent (turbinate hypertrophy). The turbinate is a tiny shelf-like bony structure that protrudes in the nasal passageways. It helps warm, humidify, and clean the air that passes over it. If turbinate hypertrophy develops, it causes persistent nasal congestion and, sometimes, pressure and headache in the middle of the face and forehead. This condition may require surgery.
Other possible complications of allergic rhinitis include:
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