Spring Allergies

What You Need to Know About Allergic Rhinitis

Every year, millions of people have to deal with allergic rhinitis, otherwise known as “hay fever.” There is new information from time to time that describes the best ways to manage hay fever symptoms. These symptoms include congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, and more. Luckily, Bernstein Allergy Clinic knows how to treat these symptoms successfully.

Latest Developments

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has participated in publishing a practice guideline that describes the most recent developments associated with treating allergic rhinitis. The guideline emphasizes the fact that a cough is a typical symptom associated with hay fever. Many people don’t know this since currently, there is so much focus on dealing with COVID-19. People need to realize their cough may not necessarily be a symptom of COVID-19. It could be from experiencing allergies.

 Guideline Recommendations

 The guideline includes five crucial recommendations.

 *Food Allergy Testing – This shouldn’t be part of nasal allergy testing. It is common for patients to get tested for food allergies when they get tested for nasal allergies. The guideline states that testing for food allergies should not be done when doing a routine evaluation for nasal allergies. The reason is that food allergies don’t cause nasal symptoms. Hay fever testing should involve determining sensitivity to mold, pets, weeds, dust mites, grasses, and trees. These are what will most often cause allergy symptoms.

 *Don’t Use First-Generation Antihistamines – Should someone want to take oral medication to treat their hay fever, they should avoid using first-generation antihistamines. These are products such as chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl). They can cause a patient to experience constipation, dry mouth, dry eyes and sedation. Non-sedating treatments like desloratadine, cetirizine, loratadine, levocetirizine, or fexofenadine are recommended.

 *Alternative Treatments – The guidelines provide no decision on using alternative treatments such as acupuncture and others. When the guideline was being created, the allergists involved did a thorough review of medical studies that dealt with the safety and effectiveness of alternative treatments. It was determined there is a lack of adequate studies that cover this subject. The allergists felt they weren’t able to recommend or deny using these types of treatments for hay fever.

 *Intranasal Corticosteroids – These are considered an effective treatment for nasal allergies. Intranasal corticosteroids, such as triamcinolone, fluticasone, budesonide, and mometasone, are considered the most effective treatments. They work well with patients who have severe allergy symptoms that are interfering with their quality of life. 

 *Pseudoephedrine – This is effective; however, it does come with side effects. Individuals who want to clear up their stuffy nose will often use the oral decongestant pseudoephedrine. The problem with using pseudoephedrine is that its main ingredient is methamphetamine. Depending on the state where the patient is being treated, pseudoephedrine will only be made available when requested from a pharmacist or by prescription. It has many side effects. These include heart palpitations, insomnia, irritability as well as a loss of appetite. Pregnant women should never take it.

When someone is suffering from nasal allergy symptoms and the treatments they are using aren’t working, they need to be evaluated by a board-certified allergist from Bernstein Allergy Clinic. Our medical professionals have special training to help people control their allergies as well as asthma. Our goal is for our patients to live life to the fullest.

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