Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever or seasonal allergies) is most often caused by pollens from trees, grass or weeds. It usually subsides with the onset of cold weather. Perennial allergic rhinitis, caused by indoor allergens such as dust, mold spores and animal dander, occurs year round. Anyone can develop allergies at any time.
What causes hay fever?
In allergy sufferers, inhaling pollen and other allergens causes the immune system to mistakenly generate a reaction against them. During this reaction, the release of histamine and other substances cause the symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as inflammation in the nasal lining which makes the nose very sensitive to irritants (ex: smoke, strong odors) or to changes in the temperature and humidity of the air.
Itchy, runny, sneezy or stuffy nose, red or itchy eyes, scratchy throat, postnasal drip, cough.
Inhibit the actions of histamine. They work best if taken before exposure to allergens, and then take regularly to keep symptoms under control.
Decrease the swelling of the nasal tissue and the resulting feeling of stuffiness.
The anti-inflammatory action of these medicines can prevent nasal congestion. Best started before symptoms and used regularly to maintain effectiveness.
Antihistamine/decongestant eye drops (ex: Naphcon-A, Opcon-A) give quick relief of allergic symptoms of red, itchy, watery eyes but can lead to rebound or worsening symptoms when the drops are stopped. Now available without a prescription is the antihistamine eye drop Zaditor which works as quickly but without the problem of rebound.
If allergies are interfering with your life, you have questions, or you have shortness of breath, wheezing or a cough, Call Health Services for an appointment at 315-443-9005.