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Allergic Rhinitis (Nasal allergy)

What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis or nasal allergy, also known as hay fever, is a type of nasal inflammation caused by the immune system's overreaction to airborne allergens. These allergens may provoke an allergic reaction in some people but may not affect others. Allergic rhinitis may occur seasonally or throughout the year. 

Causes of Allergic Rhinitis

Common allergens that cause nasal allergy or allergic rhinitis include:

  • Wind-borne pollen (from grass, trees, ragweed)
  • Mould
  • Dust mites
  • Furry and feathered animals
  • Pests, such as cockroaches in a home or building
  • Animal dander, flakes of skin

Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

The signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

  • Runny nose with clear, watery discharge
  • Stuffy nose 
  • Drainage down your throat (postnasal drip)
  • Sneezing
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears, and throat
  • plugged-up ears 
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Sinus pain and swelling
  • Headache

Diagnosis of Allergic Rhinitis

To diagnose allergic rhinitis, your doctor will discuss the signs and symptoms, check your medical history, and conduct a physical examination. Tests used to diagnose allergies rhinitis include:

  • Skin prick test: Your doctor applies a small amount of allergen to your skin. A lancet is used to prick your skin and the site is observed for immediate allergic symptoms. 
  • Blood test: A blood allergy test is performed to detect an increase in specific antibodies (proteins) in your blood called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies on exposure to an allergen. Excess IgE antibodies cause the release of histamine that is associated with allergy symptoms.

Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis

Some common allergic rhinitis treatment options are:

  • Antihistamines: These medications are helpful in treating sinus issues brought on by allergies. They are also effective for bacterial infections along with antibiotics. They work by blocking the action of certain chemical compounds (histamines) which cause allergy symptoms.
  • Decongestants: These medications are helpful in alleviating stuffy nose symptoms and act by shrinking the swollen blood vessels in the nasal cavity.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots): If your allergies are causing persistent problems, immunotherapy might be your best option. Allergies shots help reduce the body's reaction to specific allergens. 
  • Nasal Corticosteroids: Thee are used as nasal sprays and can reduce inflammation of the nasal lining.
  • Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT): This is a very effective and safe alternative to injections for treating allergies.  A small amount of the allergen in tablet or pill form is placed under your tongue to boost your tolerance.

Location & DirectionsENT Jacksonville

1370 13th Avenue South, Suite 115 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

  • American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Miller School of Medicine