severe Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Understanding Severe Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Severe seasonal allergic rhinitis, also referred to as hay fever, is a common disorder in both children and adult populations. It's caused by a sensitivity to pollen, which is released from plants during certain times of the year. Sufferers of this disorder may experience a wide range of symptoms similar to those of the common cold, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, and itchy eyes, nose, and throat.

What Causes Severe Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis?

Seasonal allergies are typically caused by pollen, spore or mold allergens, and each of these allergens is present in the air in different amounts at different times of the year. Pollen is the most common allergen that triggers seasonal allergies. During the spring, grasses, weeds, and trees release large amounts of pollen into the air. In the summer and fall, weeds and molds tend to produce generously the most allergens.

Identifying Allergens

A skin or blood test is typically performed to identify the allergens typically responsible for severe seasonal allergic rhinitis. The tests involve a small pricking of the skin or a blood sample being taken and tested for sensitivity to various allergens. Once an allergen is identified, it can be avoided to the greatest extent possible or treatment can be provided.

Symptoms of Severe Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

The characteristic symptom of seasonal allergic rhinitis is sneezing, but there are other symptoms as well. Other symptoms may include:

  • Nasal Congestion
  • Runny Nose
  • Itchy Eyes, Nose, and Throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Treatment of severe seasonal allergies typically includes avoidance of the allergen, medications, and other therapies. Avoiding the allergen is the most effective way to prevent symptoms, and can be done by keeping windows and doors closed, taking showers and changing clothes after being outdoors, and using air conditioning or a HEPA filter in the home.

Medications used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis include antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, and anti-leukotriene agents. Allergies can also be treated through immunotherapy, in which a series of shots of allergens are given over a period of time to reduce their strength to the body. Other treatments include drinking more fluids and using a saline nasal spray.

Tips for Managing Severe Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

  • Avoid allergen exposures by staying indoors as much as possible.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • If you are outdoors, take a quick shower and change clothes when returning home.
  • Use the air conditioner in your car and home, or use a HEPA filter.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to thin nasal secretions.
  • Use a saline nasal spray.
  • Consider immunotherapy shots or tablets.
  • Take over-the-counter or prescription medications as prescribed by your physician.