How to differentiate between allergic rhinitis and viral rhinitis

How to differentiate between allergic rhinitis and viral rhinitis

Małgorzata Kruk (MPharm)

 If you suffer from rhinitis, the cause is usually a banal viral infection of the upper respiratory tract which can happen to anyone in the autumn-winter period. However, when you have no other symptoms of the common cold apart from rhinitis (sore throat, cough, increased body temperature), ensure you know how to differentiate between allergic rhinitis and viral rhinitis before you administer the proper medication.

Allergic rhinitis is a hypersensitivity reaction to an allergenic factor (the allergen). It most often appears seasonally (so-called hay fever) and is related to the period when plants pollinate. It also happens that allergic rhinitis appears as a result of contact with dust or acari (mites) which everyone has at home regardless of the season. Allergic rhinitis is usually intensive, watery and is accompanied by other symptoms characteristic of a typical allergic reaction (a redness and stinging of the eyes, sneezing). It requires treatment from a specialist. You can temporarily use lozenges for allergies.

As opposed to allergic rhinitis, viral rhinitis is one of the symptoms of the most common viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, namely the well-known common cold. Rhinitis, in the course of the common cold, is watery at the beginning and becomes thicker with time. It is accompanied by other symptoms – sore throat, cough, hoarseness, sometimes also increased body temperature. Treating viral rhinitis consists, above all, of temporary methods to alleviate the course of the infection. You can use complex preparations for the common cold, humidify the air and take preparations to strengthen the body’s immunity.

If you cannot distinguish between allergic and viral rhinitis on your own – consult a specialist who will conduct the relevant tests and suggest an effective pharmacological treatment.

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This information is provided for your reference only and it is not to be relied upon on its own as instructions for use of this medication. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Other than liability for death or personal injury arising out of our negligence, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise.


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