Allergic Rhinitis

A Family Affair

It is well known that allergies are genetically transmitted from parent to child. If one parent has respiratory allergies there is a 50% probability that any child will have allergies. The percentage increases to 70% if both parents are allergic.

The term rhinitis is used to describe a disease that involves inflammation of the nasal membranes. Symptoms are characterized by periods of watery nasal discharge, sneezing, and nasal congestion. Intense itching of eyes and sore throat may occur; nasal obstruction can interfere with sleep which in turn results in daytime drowsiness and fatigue, leading to poor performance at work or school. For children, allergic rhinitis often may contribute to behavioral issues such as inattentiveness in the classroom and increased symptoms of existing ADHD.

A term often used in allergy is the “atopic march” starting early in life in a child at risk for allergies. This may begin as atopic dermatitis (rash) in association with food allergies (such as cow’s milk, egg, cereals) followed in time with allergic rhinitis secondary to environmental allergies and eventually asthma, if left untreated (allergic asthma). Allergic rhinitis treatment may include avoidance of allergens, immunotherapy and pharmacotherapy.

Our allergic rhinitis patients visit us from Hixson, Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy, Dayton, Signal Mountain, Redbank and nearby locations.

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