Ever experienced coughing without phlegm? Did it feel like it was a reflex brought about by constant itching of the throat? Does it bother you the whole day or just in the morning or at night time? These are indicators that you may not be having the typical flu or a viral or bacterial respiratory infection at all, and most importantly, you may not need those antibiotics anymore. What you might be having, is what we call Allergic Rhinitis.
Allergic Rhinitis is a condition, closely related to allergies of the skin, and towards the end of spectrum, Bronchial Asthma. Family history predisposes a child to having allergic rhinitis in life. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal membranes, as triggered by allergens or irritants that are to be determined. It is a very common condition, occurring in about 20% of the general population.
Common symptoms of AR include sneezing, itching (of the nose, eyes, ears, and palate), watery secretions from the nostrils, postnasal drip, nasal congestion, headache, earache, tearing, and redness of eyes and swelling of the eyelids, time-related fatigue, drowsiness, and malaise.
You should determine whether symptoms are related temporarily to specific trigger factors. This might include exposure to pollens outdoors, mold spores while doing yard work, specific animals, or dust while cleaning the house.
Irritant triggers such as smoke, pollution, and strong smells can aggravate symptoms in a patient with allergic rhinitis. Other patients may describe year-round symptoms that do not appear to be associated with specific triggers. This could be consistent with non-allergic rhinitis, but perennial allergens, such as dust mite or animal exposure, should also be considered in this situation. With chronic exposure and chronic symptoms, the patient may not be able to associate symptoms with a particular trigger.
The management of allergic rhinitis consists of three major categories of treatment, (1) environmental control measures and allergen avoidance, (2) pharmacological management, and (3) immunotherapy. A visit to your family doctor/pediatrician/internist should be done to know what mode of treatment is best to stop the chronic coughing, sneezing, irritation, that is allergic rhinitis.