Many Americans suffer from hay fever every single year. This common condition can cause multiple allergy symptoms, mainly involving the eyes, nose, and throat. If you suffer from hay fever, you’re certainly not alone!
The term allergic rhinitis is often bounced around with hay fever, but are these terms one and the same? Let’s find out.
What Is Allergic Rhinitis?
First, let’s cover what exactly allergic rhinitis is. Allergic rhinitis is defined as an allergic reaction affect the nose caused by any type of allergen. This leads to inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. Allergic conjunctivitis is the same process affecting the eyes. Allergens are substances that cause a physical reaction in the immune system, leading to symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes, throat
- Watery eyes
- Throat clearing
- Sore throat
- Sinus pressure
Allergic Rhinitis and Hay Fever
Allergic rhinitis is the medical condition broadly associated with “hay fever.” Hay fever is a common term used to describe allergic rhinitis because it tends to strike at hay season, when farmers harvest hay. This season lasts from late spring to late summer or early fall.
While allergic rhinitis may be more prevalent during the haying period in some areas, some people have allergic rhinitis all year round, or during other times of the year. Allergic rhinitis can be broken down into categories to make this distinction:
Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis
Hay fever describes seasonal allergic rhinitis, in particular. This type of allergic reaction is triggered by pollen. Pollen can come from trees, weeds, and grasses. Since pollen is the main culprit for seasonal allergic rhinitis, it’s no surprise the symptoms may only be present during certain times of year. In central Florida, oak pollen season, in February through May, is a common cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis. .
Perennial Allergic Rhinitis
Perennial allergic rhinitis is triggered by allergens that are around in every season. Common allergens that trigger perennial allergic rhinitis include:
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
Relief from Allergic Rhinitis
If you suffer from allergic rhinitis, whether it be “hay fever” or perennial allergic rhinitis, you can find relief with treatment. The first step in treatment is an examination, in which your doctor will conduct a physical exam and allergy testing to determine the allergens causing your symptoms. Once the allergy triggers have been determined, you can receive treatment in the form of nasal medications, decongestants, antihistamines, other medications, and lifestyle changes. Immunotherapy, or “allergy shots” or sublingual treatments, can also be used for allergic rhinitis treatment if it’s the right option for you.
Allergic Rhinitis Treatment from Allergy Tampa
At Allergy Tampa, our highly experienced physicians and healthcare professionals can help you achieve relief from allergy symptoms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.