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Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

Not only does hay fever cause symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, a runny nose, and itching, but it also has a profound impact on many individuals’ quality of life and is associated with poor sleep, fatigue, and irritability. At Avant Allergy, Sandra A. Ho, MD can work with you to manage your symptoms and find more long-term solutions to your condition.

What is hay fever? 

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis is a group of symptoms that affect the nose. They occur when the body’s immune system recognizes and overreacts to something in the environment that otherwise does not cause issues in most people. Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal, in which symptoms flare up during spring, summer, or early fall from sensitivity to airborne mold spores or tree and grass pollens. Allergic rhinitis can also be perennial in which symptoms appear year-round in response to sensitivity to allergens such as dust mites, pet hair or dander, etc. 


What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

Symptoms of hay fever include runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth, and skin, sneezing, stuffy nose, congestion, and sometimes fatigue as a result of nasal obstruction that leads to poor quality of sleep. This fatigue is often associated with decreased focus, irritability, and sleep disorders. 


What triggers hay fever? 

Allergic rhinitis can be triggered by indoor allergens such as pet hair or dander, dust mites, mold, or outdoor allergens such as tree and grass pollens and mold spores. Other irritants like cigarette smoke or perfumes may also trigger hay fever as well. At Avant Allergy, Dr. Ho can perform a skin prick test to identify your specific indoor and outdoor environmental triggers.  


How do you diagnose and treat allergic rhinitis? 

To diagnose and treat your allergic rhinitis, Dr. Sandra A. Ho and her team at Avant Allergy will take a detailed history of your symptoms to determine triggers and determine if a skin prick test is beneficial to determine your specific allergens. Dr. Ho will work closely with you to develop a customized treatment plan to manage your hay fever symptoms by reducing exposure to allergens or recommending medications such as antihistamines when exposure to allergens is unavoidable. Immunotherapy shots or sublingual drops which help the body build tolerance against the specific allergen may also be recommended for those who desire a more long-term solution to their allergies.

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