Allergic Rhinitis - What Happens
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
antibodies against the allergen.
The next time you are
exposed to the allergen, the antibodies react to it. This releases histamine and
other chemicals that cause the symptoms of your allergy. This is called
sensitization. Sensitization may occur early in life.
have allergic rhinitis may become allergic to many
dander on cats and dogs, and tree and grass
See a picture of how an
allergen affects the body .
Allergic rhinitis can affect your health if you don't
treat it. If it lasts a long time, you may have
complications such as
sinusitis, plugged ears, and
ear infections. Some people with allergic
sleep apnea. Some have
asthma, and researchers are looking at whether
allergic rhinitis may lead to asthma.
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.