n SA Pharmacist's Assistant - Runny, Stuffy, Sneezy and Grumpy - allergies

Volume 19 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9634
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1068


“Rhinitis” refers to the inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the nasal passages. When this inflammation is triggered by allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and grass, it is referred to as “allergic rhinitis.” The immune system responds by releasing histamine, resulting in an inflammatory response that occurs in the nasal passages. Some people are affected by allergic rhinitis throughout the year (perennial rhinitis), whereas others may only be affected seasonally (seasonal rhinitis). People with mild cold symptoms that appear to continue for weeks, may in fact have allergic rhinitis. Although allergic rhinitis can occur at any age, very often it begins in childhood and adolescence. Sinusitis occurs as a result of inflammation of the sinuses, where the mucus does not drain effectively, builds up, becomes stagnant and is likely to become infected with bacteria. Conditions such as allergic rhinitis or the common cold can develop into sinusitis. Sinusitis may be acute, lasting approximately two to four weeks, or become chronic, lasting 12 weeks or longer.

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