Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis

If an allergen is identified, avoidance is the most important part of management. Sometimes certain allergens are very difficult to avoid because they are everywhere eg. Grass and house dust mites. Your doctor will explain avoidance measures that you can try in these scenarios.

Drug treatment
Nose sprays with steroids form the most important drug treatment in controlling and managing the symptoms. They work by reducing the inflammation and swelling in the nose. Your doctor may also prescribe oral antihistamines if predominant symptoms include itchiness or a runny nose. Allergic rhinitis cannot be cured and so it is very important to take the treatment regularly. Once discontinued, the symptoms recur.

In severe cases where avoidance measures and drug treatment do not help, immunotherapy may be considered. This is a vaccine containing the allergen. It is usually given orally (under the tongue), for a period of three to five years.


 This article has been written by Paediatrician and Pulmonologist, Dr Salome Abbott (MBBCh (Wits), FCPaed(SA), MMed(Paed), DipAllerg(SA), Dip Paed Resp Med (Europe), Cert Paed Pulmonology(SA))

Dr Abbott currently has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti and Kingsbury Hospitals in Cape Town. The focus of her practice is treating children with respiratory diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and other chronic lung problems. Tel: 021 506 5228 or for full contact details please CLICK HERE