Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is an allergic reaction to specific allergens, such as pollen or dust mites. Nearly 10 to 30 percent of all adults in the U.S. have allergic rhinitis. While allergic rhinitis itself cannot be prevented, treatment and management are keys to achieving a high quality of life with allergies.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis may include:
- Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat, skin
- A sore or scratchy throat
- Frequent headaches
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of sense of smell
When a person comes into contact with an allergen, it releases histamine, a natural chemical that defends the body from the allergen. This chemical can cause allergic rhinitis and the symptoms that come with it. Common allergens include:
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
In most cases, treatment aims to relieve symptoms, such as sneezing and nasal congestion. If the person has mild allergic rhinitis, they can often treat the symptoms themself with antihistamines and try to reduce exposure to the allergen that triggers their symptoms. Other treatments include:
- Saline sinus rinse
Many allergy related symptoms can be managed with over the counter medicines, prescription medications, and environmental avoidance strategies if the allergies are known. With allergy skin testing and/or blood testing, we can discover hidden triggers, confirm suspected triggers, and provide additional treatments, including immunotherapy if appropriate.
Contact Northeast Allergy, Asthma & Immunology today to schedule your appointment.