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Allergic Rhinitis, “hay fever” or nasal allergy is the most frequent allergy regardless the age of the patient: some 4 million and a half Spaniards (10 to 15% of the population) suffer this allergy, considered to be the most frequent allergic disease.
Although it is seen as a mild disease, it can can affect the quality of life of the patient, and depending on its severity, it can even be disabling. Frequently patients notice sleep disturbances and poor job or school performance.
An outstanding feature is a runny nose, often as watery discharge, although it can be a more thick mucus.
It is also frequent the feeling of a bunged up nose, sneezing in a bursting way, and nasal itching.
Other annoying symtoms may be present, as itchy eyes, tear drops or photophobia meaning the patient suffer also conjunctivitis.
Headche, nasal bleeding, ear itching and the feeling of ear blockage may also be noticed. An irritating cough, itching in the throat or palate may also be suffered.
Most allergic patients suffer rhinitis in certain periods during the year (seasonal rhinitis). They notice worsening of their symptoms when they get to open spaces (parks, gardens), particularly in windy days, becoming less symptomatic in rainy days or indoor.
Allergens often culprit are located outdoors: pollen from trees (olive tree, cypress), grasses, weeds (goosefoot, Russian thistle, Pellitory, mugwort) and mould spores (alternaria, cladosporium ).
In some locations pollen and moulds can behave as perennial allergens, lasting all year long (as pellitory in the mediterranean area).
The rhinitis can also be suffered in a continuous way (perennial rhinitis). Its causes are indoor inhaled allergens (domestic enviroment), as house dust mites, animal danders, mould or cockroaches. This patients experience worsening of the symptoms when they go inside the buildings, in wet places and with fabrics that ease dust accumulation (books, carpets, mattresses, etc).