The first time you are exposed to an allergen in the air, your body's immune system may recognize the allergen as a foreign substance. Your body reacts by making Reference antibodies Opens New Window against the allergen.
The next time you are exposed to the allergen, the antibodies react to it. This releases histamine and other chemicals that Reference cause the symptoms Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window of your allergy. This is called sensitization. Sensitization may occur early in life.
Children who have allergic rhinitis may become allergic to many Reference allergens, including Reference dust mites Opens New Window, Reference dander Opens New Window on cats and dogs, and tree and grass pollens.
Allergic rhinitis can affect your health if you don't treat it. If it lasts a long time, you may have Reference complications such as Reference sinusitis Opens New Window, plugged ears, and Reference ear infections Opens New Window. Some people with allergic rhinitis have Reference sleep apnea Opens New Window. Some have Reference asthma, and researchers are looking at whether allergic rhinitis may lead to asthma.
Allergic rhinitis can also affect your quality of life. You may avoid seeing people, have problems sleeping, and feel tired or grumpy. You may have trouble with school or work.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology