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Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis

If you are in the Salt Lake City Utah area and you can schedule an allergy doctor appointment or contact us with any of your allergy related questions.

Allergic Rhinitis, more commonly known as Hay Fever, has been problematic for people for decades. It is estimated that as many as 40 to 50 million people suffer from nasal allergies. If you are susceptible to frequent colds, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, red and swollen eyes or postnasal drainage, you may actually be suffering from Allergic Rhinitis. Pollen affects the body in a variety of ways. These may include:

  • Itching and scratching in the throat.
  • Hoarseness or laryngitis as pollen affects the larynx.
  • Reactive Airway Disease, a chronic irritation of the respiratory system with symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and often a cough.
  • Asthma. It is not uncommon to have a Reactive Airway Disease diagnosis before you are actually diagnosed asthma.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis. This includes redness, tearing and itching of the eyes.
  • Postnasal drainage. This can also cause a sore throat as drainage running down the back of the throat irritates the skin of the throat.
  • Nasal salute. This is present particularly in younger children and is a crease in the nose caused by constantly rubbing the nose and pushing it upward to scratch or wipe at the nose.
  • Allergic shiners. The area around the eyes, particularly under them, looks darker than normal.
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue.

The reason for this reaction is complex. The body is reacting with an over-sensitive immune system to the unfamiliar substances or allergens it is exposed to. This reaction is the same type of thing that occurs when the body is exposed to viruses and bacteria. These are considered allergies when the substances are harmless and, as a general rule, do not affect most people. The immune system when exposed to these allergens produces histamines which cause the swelling, mucous production, and other reactions commonly ascribed to hay fever.

Generally pollen allergies are the cause of ‘hay fever’ type symptoms. Other causes may be pet dander, molds or dust. Other possible allergens may be foods or insects. Generally allergic reactions caused by food or insects do not present the same symptoms as the other allergies. A qualified physician can do testing to determine what allergens are causing your symptoms.

Generally, skin testing is the most common method. This may include scratching the skin or placing a patch on the skin to introduce the allergen. Once a reaction is determined, the doctor can also decide if there may be cross sensitivity. This is an allergic reaction to different substances that have a similar protein make-up.

There are many ways to alleviate allergy symptoms. The first step is avoidance, however as it is impossible to avoid allergens completely, the next best idea is to take steps to minimize exposure as much as possible. Moving from one area to another may improve allergy symptoms. This, however, is a drastic measure and one that may ultimately prove ineffective. It is not uncommon to find that while you may alleviate your allergy to one thing by your move, you become aggravated by another substance, which is present in your new environment. Other steps that can be taken are to avoid being outdoors in the morning and evening hours when pollen counts are the highest. Keep windows closed. Wash bedding frequently. Avoid unnecessary exposure to the allergen. Don’t do yard work or, if you must, wear a mask to filter out allergens. Wash your hands and face after exposure.

With proper testing and treatment, Allergic Rhinitis and its accompanying symptoms do not have to be a problematic factor in your life.

Disclaimer: The allergy information on this website is strictly general information and should not be taken as official advice. Please schedule an appointment with an allergy doctor in order to get a proper and full allergy diagnosis.

This article was developed by Utah Allergy Associates of Utah and Adaptivity Pro SEO Services

 
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