Allergic Rhinitis

Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms including:

• Nasal congestion
• Itching of eyes, throat or skin
• Clear nasal drainage
• Plugging of the ears
• Decreased hearing
• Watering eyes
• Trouble swallowing or breathing
• Post-nasal drip

Treatment for allergic symptoms include:

• Prevention: avoiding exposure to the allergens that trigger your symptoms

  • Some examples:
    • Dust: consider a HEPA filtration system, removing carpet and drapes from the home
    • Outdoor pollens and grasses: HEPA filtration system, keep windows closed, stay indoors during peak pollen hours
    • Pet dander: do not let animals in the bedroom

• Nasal saline sprays (Ocean Spray, Xlear, etc.): rinses out allergens from the nose, moisturizes the nose, and reduces need for allergy medications

• Nasal steroid sprays (Flonase, Nasonex, Rhinocort)

  • First line treatment for adults (in children, not recommended to be used for longer than 6 months)
  • Treats the allergic reaction in the nose where it begins
  • Reduce nasal congestion / swelling
  • Can cause bloody noses: if this occurs, stop use for at least 2 weeks

• Over the counter antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin)

• Prescription medications such as montelukast, azelastine, Dymista

• Immunotherapy: i.e. allergy shots, performed by an allergist

In some cases, a referral to an allergist may be made so that allergy testing (skin or blood test to determine what you are allergic to) can be performed.