How is the severity of allergic rhinitis graded by a doctor?
I have had allergic rhinitis since young. During such incidences, there will be very frequent sneezing (to the point where I actually get a sore throat) and very severe runny nose. I need to use 1 piece of tissue every few seconds to stop it from leaking out. This issue is especially bothersome because it is interfering with my ability to concentrate and do work. The ‘A’ Levels are nearing and I fear that this may affect me. How severe is my problem of allergic rhinitis, and how is the severity of allergic rhinitis graded by doctors?
From the clinical history that you provided, it sounds like your Rhinitis (which can be Allergic or Non-allergic) is "severe". According to the ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) guidelines, you have severe Rhinitis if your symptoms are bad enough to cause one of the following items:
- Abnormal sleep
- Impairment of daily activities, sports or leisure
- Impaired work and school
- Troublesome symptoms
I would suggest that you visit an ENT Specialist for a consultation and assessment. It is likely that you will also need a nasoendoscopy (small scope through the nose which is relatively painless and done in the clinic under local anaesthesia). Depending on your clinical history, an Allergy Test (either a skin prick test or blood test) can be performed to distinguish Allergic from Non-allergic Rhinitis.
The treatment of Rhinitis includes allergy or trigger avoidance, nasal steroid sprays and antihistamines or decongestants. If you wish to find out more about Rhinitis, do read one of my previous article on DxD on "Hate your sensitive nose? This is your cure!"
Hope this helps and all the best!