Singapore Media Watch

Monday, October 23, 2006

Health bites: Allergic rhinitis Part 1

What is allergic rhinitis?

Your nose is blocked or runny with clear, watery mucus. You may sneeze and your eyes itch and water.

What causes it?

Allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction to airborne particles. The actual cause depends on the individual allergic response of the sufferer.

Your body produces antibodies to ward off infection and other diseases. When your immune system mis-identifies a normally harmless substance, it begins building antibodies toward that specific substance.

These antibodies in your body trigger allergic symptoms when you are re-exposed to that substance.

What triggers the symptoms?

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are triggered when things like pollen or dust come into contact with the eyes, nose and lungs of the sufferer.

Special cells in these areas over-react to the allergens by releasing substances which cause allergic reactions such as blocked nose, sneezing, runny and itchy nose.

For more information, please visit

The writer is a Family Physician in private practice. He prefers to remain anonymous. You can ask him questions by leaving a comment here.


The consumer health information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness regimen.


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