People can develop nasal symptoms because they are allergic to something in the environment. This is called allergic rhinitis. It can be intermittent at certain times of the year like hay fever, or persistent throughout the year like house dust mite allergy.
Symptoms can include nasal blockage, congestion, sneezing, itching and a runny nose.
Patients with asthma often have allergic rhinitis and it is important to treat both the lungs and the nose effectively at the same time. Not treating the nose will make the asthma worse and vice versa.
Allergy tests can be performed to look for specific causes. Consultants use the skin prick test in clinic to look for common allergies. Sometimes a blood test can also be helpful.
Treatment includes avoiding the allergic substance if possible, which can be difficult, rinsing the nose regularly with saline to wash out the allergic substance and using steroid sprays and antihistamines to relieve symptoms. Sometimes surgery can help to relieve symptoms too.