Rhinitis is a condition where you may have an annoying nasal blockage, runny nose, or: itchiness in the Nose and Eyes. Rhinitis can be allergic or non-allergic. Allergic rhinitis happens due to overreaction from the immune system towards environmental (external) allergens like pollen, dust mites, etc.
The allergy begins in the upper respiratory airways such as the nose and the nasal cavities (sinuses). It then develops, in the severe and untreated cases, to a lower respiratory allergy, causing allergic asthma.
Common symptoms here are nasal blockage, runny nose with clear discharges, sneezing attacks and itchy nose and eyes.
Your doctor will ask you about the history of the symptoms, followed by clinical examination, nasal endoscopy (rhinoscopy), allergic testing, and allergic skin test (prick test). This, along with blood test (RAST-test): total IgE, Specific IgE, is done to diagnose the condition.
Symptomatic treatment is provided for your symptoms, which relieves your complaint temporarily. Here, Antihistamines pills or syrups and the nasal steroid spray is prescribed, and you will be advised to avoid the allergens.
Immunotherapy (desensitization) is another therapy, wherein the allergen factors are determined. Then those allergens are given to the body, in small doses for 3-5 years, which gradually modifies the immune response or completely suppress it.
There are two different ways of delivering the allergens. One is subcutaneous immune therapy (SCIT) wherein subcutaneous injections are given regularly, once every month, for over 3-5 years. Another is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), wherein allergen pills or drops are given daily over 3-5 years.