Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

Hay fever’s symptoms can mimic those of the common cold but are caused by the body’s response to allergens instead of a virus. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies, impacts people during specific times of the year depending on when plants release pollen and when mold spore counts increase. Perennial allergic rhinitis causes year-round symptoms due to allergy triggers that have no peak season and are always present.

Symptoms

The most common complaints of allergic rhinitis sufferers are runny nose (watery mucus), sneezing, itchy and/or watery eyes, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure. Symptoms may persist without much change for weeks or even months, as opposed to a cold, which should clear up in seven to ten days.

Hay fever can exacerbate asthma symptoms and also result in more frequent sinus infections (sinusitis) and ear infections.

Causes

Typically, spring brings tree pollen, late spring and early summer feature abundant grass pollen, and fall sees ragweed and other weeds. Many Central Texas residents also battle cedar fever (an allergic reaction to mountain cedar trees) December through March. Mold spores float through the air like pollen, with levels peaking in late summer.

Perennial allergic rhinitis results from indoor allergens including pet dander, dust mites, and cockroaches.

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

You do not have to suffer from hay fever! We are here to help. The physicians at Greater Austin Allergy have vast experience diagnosing and treating allergic rhinitis. We will consult with you on your medical history and symptoms, and then recommend testing so we can get to the source of your allergies.

After diagnosis, we will tailor a treatment plan to your needs. We will explain lifestyle measures that can help you avoid your allergy triggers. Additionally, we offer treatment options including medication, sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops), and allergy shots. Patients who go the allergy shot route frequently receive a personalized, tailored Cluster Immunotherapy plan from our doctors, which provides faster results than traditional immunotherapy. Allergy shots and drops decrease your immune response to allergens and mitigate symptoms.

Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) Facts

  • Asthma and hay fever often go hand-in-hand. Nearly a third of the people with hay fever also have asthma.

    Source: www.webmd.com
  • Allergic rhinitis affects approximately 10% of the US population and is the most common allergic disorder in the country.

    Source: my.clevelandclinic.org
  • While commonly called “hay fever,” an allergic rhinitis diagnosis requires neither proximity to hay nor a fever. Scientists embraced the term “hay fever” in the early 19th century, when they believed symptoms were related to the smell of new hay.

  • Weather affects the daily pollen count and thus the severity of seasonal allergy symptoms. Pollen counts tend to be high on warm, dry, and breezy mornings and low on cool, rainy days.

    Source: my.clevelandclinic.org