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Allergic Rhinitis Testing and Treatment

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Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is an allergy that primarily affects the nose and sinuses. This condition causes the dilation of blood vessels and swelling in the tissues surrounding the nose. Unlike the common cold, allergic rhinitis is not caused by a virus, but rather by allergens that trigger an allergic response. These allergens can be found indoors or outdoors, and cause symptoms that resemble those of a cold. Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs when certain plants release allergens during specific times of the year, while perennial allergic rhinitis causes year-round symptoms due to exposure to allergens that are present all year.

Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis (AR) occurs when allergens enter the body and trigger symptoms such as chronic nasal congestion, excess mucus production, and itching in the nose. These symptoms can last for weeks or even months, depending on the allergen trigger(s). This is in contrast to the symptoms of a common cold, which usually only last for a few days before resolving.

  •  Runny nose, nasal congestion, postnasal drip (mucus running down the back of the throat), and/or sneezing
  •  Itching of the nose, roof of the mouth, and/or throat
  •  Itchy, watery, red, and/or swollen eyes
  •  Pain in the face and/or headaches
  •  Ear pain, popping, and/or fullness
  •  Fatigue

Allergic rhinitis can lead to complications in people who have asthma, further triggering their flare-ups. It also increases an individual’s risk of developing sinus infections and ear infections.

Causes of Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis refers to the allergic reaction affecting the nose and causing it to become congested and swollen. What causes the allergy? Excessive body production of histamine is one of the primary causative agents for allergic reactions in your nose that get triggered by contact with an allergen such as ragweed, mold, and pollution..

Allergic rhinitis is typically the result of environmental triggers. These can be found both outdoors and indoors as well as seasonally and perennially. Common environmental triggers include:

  • Tree pollen (such as oak, pecan, and ash), which are abundant in the spring
  • Grass pollen (such as from Bermuda or Timothy grass), which are abundant during the summer
  • Weed pollen (such as Ragweed), which is abundant in the fall
  • Mountain cedar pollen, which is abundant in the winter
  • Mold spores, which are considered both seasonal and perennial
  • Dust mites, cockroach particles, and pet dander, which are considered perennial allergens

Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis symptoms are not only annoying, they can also impact an individual’s quality of life. At Frontier Allergy Asthma and Immunology, we believe that everyone deserves to live a healthy, happy life free of pesky allergy symptoms.

Our allergy specialist has extensive knowledge and experience diagnosing and treating allergic rhinitis and is available for consultation. During your visit, your doctor will discuss your medical and symptom history and perform a physical exam. They will then recommend a skin prick test or allergy blood test to identify and rule out potential triggers.

Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis

Once you receive your diagnosis, your allergist will work with you to create a treatment plan focused on managing, preventing, and improving your allergy symptoms. They will likely recommend a medication regimen for symptom management and lifestyle changes for symptom prevention. At Frontier Allergy Asthma and Immunology, we offer a few different forms of immunotherapy, which can help decrease your immune system’s sensitivity to your triggers, thereby decreasing the severity, amount, and duration of your symptoms.

Immunotherapy options include sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops) and subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). Patients who decide to undergo allergy shot therapy may additionally decide between a personalized Cluster Immunotherapy plan and Traditional Immunotherapy. Cluster Immunotherapy is a great option for those trying to achieve allergy improvement as quickly as possible in the safety of our clinic.

Next steps

If you are interested in further discussion about your specific needs, Dr. Reshamwala is happy to see you and answer any questions you may have. Please call 512-382-1933 or email clinic@frontierallergist.com to schedule an appointment today! Book an appointment

Written by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed: 03/20/21

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