Allergic rhinitis [AR], more commonly referred to as hay fever, is an inflammation of the nasal passages caused by allergic reaction to airborne substances.
It occurs when an allergen such as pollen dust or animal dander (particles of shed skin and hair) is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system. In such individuals, the allergen triggers the production of the antibodyimmunoglobulin E (IgE), which binds to mast cells and basophils containing histamine.
There are two types of allergic rhinitis: seasonal and perennial.
A child can be affected by one or both types. Symptoms of seasonal Allergic Rhinitis are worst after being outdoors, while symptoms of perennial Allergic Rhinitis are worst after spending time indoors.
House mite body parts. All houses contain large numbers of house mites. These harmless insects feed on fibers, fur, and skin shed by the house's larger occupants. Their tiny body parts easily become airborne.
Animal dander. Animals constantly shed fur, skin flakes, and dried saliva.
Mold spores. Molds live in damp spots throughout the house, including basements, bathrooms, air ducts, air conditioners, refrigerator drains, damp windowsills, mattresses, and stuffed furniture.
The characteristic symptoms of allergic rhinitis are: excess nasal secretion, itching, and nasal congestion and obstruction. The drip of mucus from the sinuses down the back of the throat, combined with increased sensitivity, can also lead to throat irritation and redness. Allergic Rhinitis usually also causes redness, itching, and watery eyes. Fatigue and headache are also common.