It is important to know that rhinitis may be accompanied by other upper airways disease, like rhinosinusitis or nasal polyps, and obstructive lower airways disease, like asthma. Therefore, the treating physician should ask about such symptoms and perform the necessary tests to confirm or refute their presence.
Patients with allergic rhinitis may have an affected quality of life, with symptoms affecting their sleep or their performance at school or at work. To avoid this, it is important to know when symptoms occur more often (time of the year, certain places or performing certain activities).
Avoid contact with the causative allergens whenever possible. Avoid smoky environments and sudden temperature changes. Nasal douches with saline or treated seawater are a safe hygienic measure which helps to remove accumulated mucus and allergens present in the upper airway, soothing irritation and dryness. Use a mask that covers nose and mouth when you cannot avoid the presence of allergens. Follow your physician’s recommendations about treatment: some medications should be used on demand, but others should be used routinely for long periods of time. If you have to drive or operate dangerous machinery, make sure you have been prescribed a non-sedative antihistamine.
If eye symptoms disturb you, consider using eye drops based on saline or artificial tears and protect eyes with glasses if eye symptoms are severe.