Hay fever is often treated as a fact of life. As the weather gets warmer and pollen starts to fill the air, it is common to assume that sneezing, coughing, and headaches are just par for the course.
In fact, these symptoms are the result of allergic rhinitis. By understanding what this disease is and what causes it, you can get the support you need from your local allergies and asthma clinic and defend your health all year long.
What is allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is a condition that occurs when your body mistakes a normal substance for a disease or other threat to your health. Your immune system then responds by attacking the substance, leading to one or more of the following symptoms:
- A runny, stuffy, or itchy nose
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Dark circles under your eyes
- A sore throat
- Coughing and sneezing
- Itchy or dry skin
- Lack of energy or fatigue
Allergic rhinitis tends to occur during the spring in response to the pollen that fills the air. People refer to the resulting springtime symptoms as “hay fever.” But pollen is not the only allergen that leads to this condition. Mold, pet dander, skin flakes, dust mite droppings, and countless other substances can cause allergic rhinitis throughout the year. If you have asthma or allergies, it is important to stay on the lookout for all the symptoms of an immune system overreaction.
What can I do about allergic rhinitis?
The first step to dealing with allergic rhinitis is to make sure that it is, in fact, what you are suffering from. If you experience headaches, sneezing, and other symptoms, you should go get an allergic rhinitis test in Little Rock or Conway. This lets you rule out other causes and make sure allergic rhinitis treatments are right for you.
If your tests come back positive, you have a number of options to deal with allergic rhinitis. These include:
- OTC Drugs– If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to manage them with over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants.
- Prescription Medications– More severe cases of allergic rhinitis often require antihistamines that are stronger than what is available over the counter. You will thus need a prescription from your local allergy clinic to get these medicines.
- Immunotherapy– If you want to deal with allergic rhinitis for the long haul, immunotherapy may be the solution you are looking for. It involves injecting you with trace amounts of the substance that causes your symptoms. Over time, your body will become used to this substance, leading your immune system to react less strongly to it. Your symptoms will thus become mild and manageable, and may even disappear entirely.
Arkansas Allergy and Asthma Clinic has helped Arkansans deal with allergic rhinitis and a host of other issues for more than 80 years. To learn more about our clinic or request an appointment, contact us by calling (501) 227-5210 today.