Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

Hay Fever (also known as allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to allergens, small particles in the air. When you inhale allergens through your nose or mouth, your body responds by generating histamine, a natural molecule. Hay fever is caused by a variety of indoor and outdoor allergens. Dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen from trees and plants are all common culprits.

Sneezing, nasal congestion, and irritation of the nose, throat, mouth, and eyes are all symptoms of hay fever. Infectious rhinitis, also known as the common cold, is not the same as allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is not spreadable.

Causes of Hay Fever

Many allergens can cause seasonal and perennial allergies, including:

  • Dust mites are microscopic insects that dwell in carpets, draperies, bedding, and furniture
  • Tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen
  • Dander from pets (tiny flakes of dead skin)
  • Mold spores
  • Cockroaches, their saliva, and their feces.

Food allergies can also cause inflammation of the nose and throat. Get medical attention immediately away if you fear you're having an allergic reaction to something you ate. Allergies to certain foods might be fatal.

Treatment for Hay Fever

Several allergy treatments might help you manage your hay fever symptoms. Liquids, tablets, eye drops, nasal sprays, and injections are among the therapies available. Before taking any drug, consult your doctor, especially if you're pregnant or have other health issues.

  • Antihistamines operate by preventing your body from releasing histamine during an allergic reaction. Antihistamines are available in various forms, including pills, liquids, eye drops, nasal sprays, and inhalers. Antihistamines can make you sleepy. When taking antihistamines, stay away from alcohol, especially if you plan on driving.
  • Decongestants are medicines that help to clear congestion from the nose and sinuses. You can use a nasal spray or take decongestants by mouth (in pill or liquid form). Decongestants can raise blood pressure, resulting in headaches, insomnia, and irritability. If used for more than five days, nasal decongestants can become addictive.
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays and inhalers reduce inflammation and alleviate hay fever symptoms. Headaches, nasal discomfort, nosebleeds, and cough are some of the side effects.
  • Leukotriene inhibitors block leukotriene and are only available with a prescription. The body releases leukotriene, histamines, and other substances during an allergic reaction, which induce inflammation and hay fever symptoms. Some patients report mood swings, vivid dreams, involuntary muscle movements, and skin rashes when using leukotriene inhibitors.
  • Immunotherapy works by assisting your body in learning to tolerate allergens. Your doctor will inject you with a small dose of the allergen in a series of injections (allergy shots). Your provider raises the amount of allergen each time you get an injection. Your immune system builds up immunity to the allergen over time and ceases reacting to it. Your doctor may recommend immunotherapy in the form of a pill you take under your tongue.

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