Show Navigation
First Charlotte Physicians Matthews
Go
Home / Who We Are / News

Seasonal allergies

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis, often called allergies or hay fever, occurs when your immune system overreacts to particles in the air that you breathe-you are allergic to them. Your immune system attacks the particles, causing symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose. The particles are called allergens, which simply means they can cause an allergic reaction.

People with allergies usually have symptoms for many years. You may have symptoms often during the year, or just at certain times. You also may get other problems such as sinusitis and ear infections as a result of your allergies.

Over time, allergens may begin to affect you less, and your symptoms may not be as severe as they had been.

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

In most cases, when you have allergic rhinitis:

You sneeze again and again, especially after you wake up in the morning.

You have a runny nose and postnasal drip. The drainage from a runny nose caused by allergies is usually clear and thin. But it may become thicker and cloudy or yellowish if you get a nasal or sinus infection. Your eyes are watery and itchy. 
Your ears, nose, and throat are itchy.

Which allergens commonly cause allergic rhinitis?


You probably know that pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds cause allergic rhinitis. Many people have allergies to dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, and mold as well. Things in the workplace, such as cereal grain, wood dust, chemicals, or lab animals, can also cause allergic rhinitis.

If you are allergic to pollens, you may have symptoms only at certain times of the year. If you are allergic to dust mites and indoor allergens, you may have symptoms all the time.

How is allergic rhinitis treated?


One of the best things you can do is to avoid the things that cause your allergies. You may need to clean your house often to get rid of dust, animal dander, or molds. Or you may need to stay indoors when pollen counts are high.

Unless you have another health problem, such as asthma, you may be able to treat your symptoms at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. If you do have another problem, talk to your doctor first. Others who also should talk to their doctor before starting self-treatment include older adults, children, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

If home treatments do not help or the over-the-counter medicines make you sleepy or cause other side effects that bother you, then your doctor can prescribe medicines. These medicines can relieve your allergy symptoms with fewer side effects than over-the-counter medicines.

Finding the treatment that works best for you may take a little time. You may need to try several medicines before you find the one that works for you.

If your allergies bother you a lot and you cannot avoid the things you are allergic to, you and your doctor can decide if you should get allergy shots (immunotherapy) to help control your symptoms. For allergy shots to work, you need to know what you are allergic to.

People with allergies usually have symptoms for many years. You may have symptoms often during the year, or just at certain times. You also may get other problems such as sinusitis and ear infections as a result of your allergies.

Over time, allergens may begin to affect you less, and your symptoms may not be as severe as they had been.

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?


In most cases, when you have allergic rhinitis:

You sneeze again and again, especially after you wake up in the morning. 
You have a runny nose and postnasal drip. The drainage from a runny nose caused by allergies is usually clear and thin. But it may become thicker and cloudy or yellowish if you get a nasal or sinus infection. 
Your eyes are watery and itchy. 
Your ears, nose, and throat are itchy.

Which allergens commonly cause allergic rhinitis?


You probably know that pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds cause allergic rhinitis. Many people have allergies to dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, and mold as well. Things in the workplace, such as cereal grain, wood dust, chemicals, or lab animals, can also cause allergic rhinitis.

If you are allergic to pollens, you may have symptoms only at certain times of the year. If you are allergic to dust mites and indoor allergens, you may have symptoms all the time.

How is allergic rhinitis treated?


One of the best things you can do is to avoid the things that cause your allergies. You may need to clean your house often to get rid of dust, animal dander, or molds. Or you may need to stay indoors when pollen counts are high.

Unless you have another health problem, such as asthma, you may be able to treat your symptoms at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. If you do have another problem, talk to your doctor first. Others who also should talk to their doctor before starting self-treatment include older adults, children, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

If home treatments do not help or the over-the-counter medicines make you sleepy or cause other side effects that bother you, then your doctor can prescribe medicines. These medicines can relieve your allergy symptoms with fewer side effects than over-the-counter medicines.

Finding the treatment that works best for you may take a little time. You may need to try several medicines before you find the one that works for you.

If your allergies bother you a lot and you cannot avoid the things you are allergic to, you and your doctor can decide if you should get allergy shots (immunotherapy) to help control your symptoms. For allergy shots to work, you need to know what you are allergic to.


Return  

Request appointment
Call for an appointment 704-384-6901

Location

Hours

Our office is open:

Monday to Wednesday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday & Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.