Allergic Rhinitis

If you are sneezing or have a runny or itchy nose, you might have rhinitis. Rhinitis is the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane, and there are two types – allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.

Allergic rhinitis occurs when the body’s immune system over-responds to specific, non-infectious particles such as:

  • Plant pollens
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Animal hair
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Foods
  • Medicines
  • Insect venom

During an allergic attack, immunoglobin E (IgE) – an antibody – attaches to mast cells in the lungs, skin and mucous membranes. Mast cells release histamine, an organic nitrogenous compound involved in immune responses against foreign pathogens. When IgE connects with the mast cells, histamine is released and opens the blood vessels, causing skin redness and swollen membranes, and thus sneezing and congestion in the nose.

To find out more about Rhinitis, and other issues in the nose, click here to check out our online library.