Elgin area patients ask about the diagnosis and treatment of Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is also commonly known as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or nasal allergies. Allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, or even mold trigger the body to release a chemical that causes the symptoms. When people suffering from allergic rhinitis breathe in these substances, they experience the allergy symptoms.
People with hay fever suffer from an allergic reaction to pollen that can be found in plants, trees, grasses, and weeds. Symptoms are largely dependent on the amount of pollen in the air. On windy, hot, dry days, there tends to be more pollen in the air than cool, damp days.
Common symptoms of hay fever include:
- Itchiness of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, or skin
- Difficulty smelling
- Runny nose
- Sore Throat
- Stopped up ears
- Inflammation around the eyes
Diagnosing allergic rhinitis involves a series of exams. When you come into our office, we will begin with a medical and family history, along with a list of your symptoms. We will then perform a physical exam. Some common questions we may ask include:
- Do your symptoms change based on time of day or year?
- Are your symptoms worse around pets?
- What substances seem to trigger your symptoms?
Skin testing is one of the most common tests we use to determine if you are allergic to pollen or other substances.
Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, we can come up with a treatment plan. One of the best ways to limit allergic reactions is to avoid exposure to the pollen or substances causing them. Although it is often impossible to avoid it completely, you may be able to limit your exposure. During pollen season, try to stay indoors as much as possible.
Medications may also be helpful in treating allergic rhinitis. Some of the most common medications prescribed are antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, or allergy shots.
Many times, children who experience allergies may outgrow them over time as their immune system becomes desensitized to the trigger. Patients who suffer from pollen allergies often experience symptoms long term.
It is important to contact us if your symptoms become severe, if they do not respond to treatment, or if your current treatment is no longer working. To get more information on treating allergic reactions for patients in the Elgin area, call us today.