Whether you call it seasonal allergies, allergic rhinitis or hay fever, it affects millions of people worldwide and is very common. There are 2 main types of allergic rhinitis:
Seasonal allergies (hay fever): Caused by an allergy to pollen and/or mold spores in the air. Pollen, is comes from t flowering plants and is carried through the air and is easily inhaled. Symptoms are seasonal and usually occur in spring, late summer, and fall.
Perennial allergies : These symptoms occur all year round and are caused by allergens such as dust mites, pet hair or dander, or mold.
Symptoms vary, depending on the severity of your allergies. They can include:
- Itching (mostly ears, eyes, nose, mouth, throat and skin).
- Runny /stuffy nose.
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks.
- Ear fullness and popping.
- Sore/itchy throat.
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes.
- Dark circles under your eyes.
- Decrease sense of smell or taste
- Low-grade fever
Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these. Many over the counter medication are first-line treatment s for symptoms, but prescription drugs or a referral to an allergist is sometimes helpful. Here are some steps you can take to limit your exposure to the pollen or molds that cause your symptoms:
- Keep your windows closed at night
- Use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air.
- follow your local news channel regarding pollen count and try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold counts are high.
- With severe symptoms, wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable.
- When you return indoors, take a shower, shampoo your hair and change clothes.
- Avoid being responsible for mowing lawns or raking leaves. This stirs up pollen and molds.
- Also avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry.
- Take all medication as prescribed.
- When traveling by car, keep your windows closed.
Did you know:
- Allergy shots can often provide long-term relief of hay fever symptoms.