The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

Rhini­tis refers to the in­flam­ma­tion of the nasal mu­cous mem­brane, which pro­duces symp­toms such as sneez­ing, runny, con­gested and/or an itchy nose. These symp­toms usu­ally ex­tends to the eyes and throat as the ar­eas of the eyes, ears, nose and throat (ENT) are in­ter-con­nected.

Es­sen­tially, in­flam­ma­tion oc­curs as a re­sult of the im­mune sys­tem’s re­ac­tion to an al­ler­gen. Al­though harm­less al­ler­gens present in the air would not nor­mally af­fect the av­er­age per­son, peo­ple with sen­si­tive noses are over­whelmed by its pres­ence be­cause of their hy­per­sen­si­tive im­mune sys­tem. In Malaysia, the most com­mon al­lergy trig­gers are house dust mites and the haze, as re­ported by more than half of nasal al­lergy suf­fer­ers.

Si­nusi­tis is dif­fer­ent from al­ler­gic rhini­tis. Al­though Malaysians of­ten re­fer to the term “si­nus” to de­scribe ei­ther con­di­tions. Our si­nuses are hol­low cav­i­ties in the skull lo­cated by the cheeks, fore­head, nose and eyes. Si­nusi­tis refers to the swelling or in­flam­ma­tion of the si­nus mu­cous mem­brane caus­ing block­age of the si­nus open­ings that nor­mally drain mu­cous. Si­nusi­tis will al­most al­ways hap­pen af­ter chronic bouts of rhini­tis and rarely oc­curs on its own. As the nasal and si­nus pas­sages are so closely in­ter-re­lated, oto­laryn­gol­o­gists now re­fer to si­nusi­tis as rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis. Glob­ally, it has been es­tab­lished that about 51% of rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis cases are caused by al­ler­gies.

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