According to the doctor, allergic rhinitis “is an inflammation of the nasal mucosa”, which can sometimes extend to the sinuses. The inflammation results from an allergic reaction to pollens, for example. In the first phase, the person has contact with the pollen and develops sensitisation. Upon contacting it a second time, the body is already sensitised to particular pollen and produces a large-scale antibody called IGE that is responsible for the allergic reaction.

When the antibody encounters the allergen, it will trigger a “release of mediators that will cause inflammation in the nasal mucosa.” Inflammation causes swelling of the nasal mucosa, nasal discharge, which can cause nasal obstruction in the patient. In addition to nasal obstruction, the most common symptoms are an itchy nose and sneezing.

According to Beatriz Tavares, “about 85 percent of patients with asthma also have allergic rhinitis and about 20 to 30 percent of patients who have rhinitis also have asthma.”

Allergies by region

Portugal is rich in terms of ecosystem, with a diverse flora, which is not always positive, especially for those who suffer from allergic rhinitis.

In the interior of the country, there is a greater production of olive cultivation, which is the main allergen in that region. However it is the grasses that cause the most problems for those who suffer from allergic rhinitis. Between May and June, the peak of the release of pollens that cause allergies occurs.

Beatriz Tavares told The Portugal News that depending on the geographical area in which patients live, there may be a higher or lower incidence of allergies to certain pollens.


The diagnosis to assess what type of pollen someone is allergic to is relatively simple.

The test consists of placing allergens in a purified state on the forearm, through a small superficial prick. After 15 to 20 minutes, the body is expected to react to certain allergens and then it is demonstrated whether “the IGE recognised the allergen”, creating an inflammation.

Beatriz Tavares reveals that the most effective treatment is done with nasal corticosteroids, as it treats all symptoms. Antihistamines are the most used when chosen by the patient. Being orally administered pills, patients find it more comfortable.

There is also the possibility of being inoculated with vaccines against allergic rhinitis. The vaccine can be used in patients with “persistent attacks.” According to the doctor, it is a very effective treatment when given to patients allergic to pollinosis.

Anyone who suffers from allergies and wants to learn more about the situaiton in Portugal can visit the Portuguese Aerobiology Network website for further information


Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463. 

Bruno G. Santos