There are many superstitions about what it means to have an itchy nose, but at risk of disappointing you, we’re sorry to say that it probably doesn’t mean anyone is about to kiss you! Is your nose itchy, do you find you are you sneezing often, are your eyes red, stinging and running, or does your skin itch, among other symptoms? It could be allergies. So what are the symptoms and the causes?
Allergies occur due to the immune system becoming more sensitive to an allergen, and having an excessive reaction to it. Common allergens are pollen, plants, damp or substances present in animals, among others.
When the immune system comes into contact with allergens, it produces an inflammatory reaction, which causes the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis:
- runny nose with clear fluid
- blocked nose
- sneezing fits
- itchy nose and palette
- conjunctivitis (red, stinging or teary eyes)
Allergic rhinitis should be treated quickly, to avoid developing allergic asthma.
The symptoms of allergic asthma:
- breathing difficulties and a feeling of breathlessness
- a dry cough
Skin problems related to allergies (eczema, hives):
- redness and itching on the face, the scalp or in creases in the skin
Symptoms of gastric problems linked to allergies:
- gastric pain
- diarrhea or constipation
Consult an allergist if you notice any of these symptoms.
Allergies: what are the health risks?
The incidence of allergies is on the rise every year, to the extent that the World Health Organisation predicts that 50% of the world’s population will be suffering from allergies by 2030.
More and more people are developing allergies worldwide, especially in industrialised countries where pollution levels, the main cause of allergies, are higher.
The risks of complications linked to allergies:
- Ear infections
- Sore throat
- Chest infections
- Eye infections