If you routinely suffer from itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing fits, and congestion, you know firsthand the difficulties of allergic rhinitis. An allergy to substances like dust mites, mold spores, or pet dander can make your life miserable if left untreated. Still, fortunately, there are proactive steps that can be taken to manage these symptoms to find relief effectively. This blog will explore the different forms of allergic rhinitis, provide practical guidelines on determining if this is what’s causing your discomfort, and outline potential treatment methods.
Allergic rhinitis is a common condition that affects people of all ages. Up to 40 million Americans, including millions of children, are estimated to suffer from allergic rhinitis. The first step in understanding and managing allergic rhinitis is to determine what type you have. The two main types are seasonal allergic rhinitis (which usually occurs during spring, summer, or early fall) and perennial allergic rhinitis (which can happen all year round). If you experience symptoms like sneezing fits, itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion and/or coughing when exposed to certain triggers, then you likely have either of these forms of allergic rhinitis.
In order to diagnose which type of allergic rhinitis you may be dealing with, an allergist might ask that you undergo a skin test where they place various substances on your arm to see if they trigger an immune response. Skin testing involves placing liquid drops on your forearm and testing for allergies to trees, grass, weeds, cat, dog, dust mites, cockroaches, and molds. This test will help them determine which aeroallergens are causing your allergic reactions.
Once you have identified the triggers associated with your allergic rhinitis – the next step is to start finding relief from your symptoms. The most common treatment for allergic rhinitis is implementing avoidance measures as well as using various medications. Non-sedating antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids can provide relief from symptoms. Immunotherapy (allergy shots) can also be used to reduce sensitivity to allergens over time and potentially eliminate symptoms permanently. Other lifestyle changes that may help include removing sources of allergens from your environment, avoiding triggers such as pollen or pet dander when possible, using air filters in bedrooms, limiting outdoor activities during peak pollen season, and keeping windows closed.
Ultimately, allergic rhinitis can be an uncomfortable condition to endure – but there are plenty of steps that you can take to find relief and manage your symptoms. By understanding what type of allergic rhinitis you have, identifying triggers, and exploring treatment options – you can gain control over this condition and lead a healthier life. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above related to allergic rhinitis, then contact us today for solutions on how to best manage this condition. At Bernstein Allergy Group, with the help of our board-certified physicians, we always strive to provide high-quality personalized medical care for adults and children suffering from allergies.