As the crisp fall air chases people indoors for the coming winter, allergy sufferers may feel relieved to be safe from summer’s onslaught of airborne allergens. However, for people with perennial rhinitis, the coming months may make them more of a target for the sniffles and sneezes.
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages that occurs when allergens touch the lining of your nose. Symptoms include sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and itchiness of the throat, nose, roof of the mouth, eyes and ears. When symptoms are worse in the warmer months, they are likely to be triggered by pollen and/or molds and indicate a case of seasonal allergic rhinitis. People who suffer from perennial rhinitis experience symptoms year-round.
Irritants such as strong smells, pollution, or smoke trigger non-allergic rhinitis, or irritant rhinitis. Non-allergic rhinitis usually afflicts adults and causes year-round symptoms, especially nasal congestion and headaches, similar to the symptoms of perennial rhinitis.
Perennial rhinitis can be triggered by common indoor allergens, such as:
It is important for people with perennial rhinitis to prepare their homes for the long months spent indoors during the fall and winter. Indoor allergy sufferers can reduce their symptoms by taking the following steps:
Making changes to your indoor environment can take some time. To begin, you may want to make a checklist. Over time, changes will make an indoor environment that is less allergenic, easier to clean and healthier for the whole family.
*Adapted from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology