What specialist should I see if I have allergic rhinitis?
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By allergic rhinitis, we refer to a disease that affects and inflames the nose and causes sneezing, excess of clear and watery mucus that drains from the nose and itching.
This condition is noticeable to the naked eye. The most distinct characteristic of allergic rhinitis is that it is caused by an external agent that provokes a reaction in the patient. It is a common pathology that affects 30% of the population.
How is rhinitis diagnosed?
Symptoms are quite noticeable. ENT physicians can make a clinical diagnosis with an evaluation of the history and symptoms without requiring tests.
However, differentiating the type of rhinitis is what helps the physician to recommend a better treatment and this is achieved with the help of specific tests.
For instance, with non-allergic rhinitis, the reason for the condition must be found, while in cases of allergic rhinitis, a skin prick test for respiratory allergens is requested.
Once the medical specialist reaches a diagnosis and has the results of the test, they can then make treatment recommendations to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Which specialist can help me with allergic rhinitis?
The ENT doctor is the specialist in charge of evaluating, diagnosing and treating diseases related to the nose, ears and throat. Therefore, rhinitis is one of the pathologies in which they specialize.
Not only can an otolaryngologist treat rhinitis, but they can also prevent and/or control the complications that this condition can generate at the level of the nose, throat or ear.
While it is true that allergic rhinitis refers to an allergy, the intervention of the allergist specialist goes as far as the identification of the external agent that produces the allergy.
Through an ENT doctor, a specific examination can be requested to identify the allergens and conclude in an effective treatment.
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What is the ideal treatment for allergic rhinitis?
Each treatment will depend on the needs and characteristics of each patient. For a recommendation, it is important that a physician evaluates and diagnoses the case in order to find the most suitable treatment.
Some of the treatments that work for this condition are:
Improve environmental factors to avoid the allergen
At this point, it is critical to identify the external factors that affect the patient, which can be one or several, such as pollen, trees, plants, mites, animals, etc.
Keeping control of the environment to which the patient is exposed is crucial to prevent rhinitis from developing and worsening. The best advice is to keep the areas clean, free of dust, avoid carpets, stuffed animals and bed covers that accumulate dust.
In some cases, it may be recommended to keep away from animals with hair such as cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.
Avoid damp environments, caves or antiques that include stored paper or cloth.
Antihistamines and intranasal steroids are some of the drugs recommended to clear the nasal passages and fight allergens.
Immunotherapy or vaccines:
They are modern treatments that science ideally allows for patients who do not find improvement with pharmacological treatment. What it seeks is to achieve a positive reaction when the body is exposed to the external agent that produces the allergy.
When should I see a doctor?
The reasons why you should see a doctor when you have allergic rhinitis are when you feel that your symptoms worsen and do not improve with any recommendation.
In cases in which the patient is a child, it is necessary to treat the discomfort to allow them to have a good rest and proper breathing, as well as to identify the allergen and avoid exposure to it.
If the rhinitis progresses to an infection and the patient begins to feel fever and fatigue, they should see a medical specialist to help them recover their quality of life.