Allergic rhinitis: To sneeze or to wheeze. Pollen is the question, what is the answer?
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Allergic rhinitis, also known colloquially as hay fever, is the most common among the allergic diseases. Recent literature reports that it affects up to a tenth of the world population. Atopic diseases have a particularly high prevalence in young children which is often attributed to their immature immune systems. Traditionally, atopic diseases have plagued industrialised countries, but the burden has recently extended its reach to developing countries. Over the past few decades, there has been a marked increase in all allergy-related diseases. Supported by the advent of the Atopic March, research has been primarily directed at understanding the aetiology and pathophysiology associated with diseases stemming from atopy. In this article, we review current treatments available in South Africa and explain the pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis.