Allergic rhinitis (also referred to as allergic cold or hay fever) is an acute and recurrent inflammatory pathology affecting the nasal mucosa secondary to an acquired reaction to an exogenous antigen (allergen).
Allergic rhinitis is the most common disease affecting the upper airways and it is believed that about 20% of the population is affected by it (to various degrees). Although it can occur at any age, the onset is common in puberty and before the age of 20 in general. Allergic rhinitis presents a profile characterized by periods of remission and exacerbations that tend to follow seasonal cycles. With the passage of years, changes in the severity of the disturbances (growing or decreasing patterns) and the number of substances to which the patient may be allergic are possible.
Allergic rhinitis is characterized by an altered production of IgE which occurs in a context of inadequate immune response and this creates the condition for nasal obstruction, mucus, itching, sneezing and sometimes even bronchial asthma.
The first therapeutic treatment is the removal of allergens, in order to decrease the frequency of acute phases. During these acute phases, the local use of vasoconstrictors, antihistamines and corticosteroids is necessary. Systemic therapy based on antihistamines and corticosteroids may be combined with the treatment. Allergometric data can be used to establish a specific desensitizing therapy based on sublingual microdoses of the allergen; in this way an intense antibody response based on IgA is triggered which reduces the risk of contact between the antigen and IgE.