Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis, which is caused by an allergen, refers to nose and eye problems that occur at least once a week. When only the nose is affected, it is called allergic rhinitis. It is also known as hay fever, “sinus” or “sensitive nose”. When only the eyes are affected, it is called allergic conjunctivitis.
Allergies, particularly in children, are increasing around the world especially in developed countries. The prevalence of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in Singaporean children up to 2 years old is estimated to be as high as 42%.1
Most allergies are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. This means that there is often a family member with asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis or eczema.
House dust mite allergens are the most common triggers for Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis in Singapore. House dust mites are microscopic creatures that reside in homes. Other triggers include pollen, which is most common in temperate climate, and animal dander (a combination of dead skin cells and hair or feathers). Food is rarely a trigger for isolated Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms.