(Hay Fever; Seasonal Allergies)
- Seasonal (intermittent) allergic rhinitis (sometimes called hay fever or rose fever)—This occurs during times of the year when allergens are in the air, like spring, summer, and fall. The most common allergens are tree, grass, or weed pollens.
- Perennial (persistent) allergic rhinitis—This condition is caused by allergens that may be present year round. These may include chemicals, dust, dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, or mold spores. Symptoms may be present any time of year.
|Site of Histamine Production|
|This area has swelling and increased mucus production after contact with an allergen.|
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- Skin prick test—A tiny bit of an allergen is placed under the skin with a needle. The doctor watches to see if the skin in that area becomes red, raised, and itchy. This can be done for multiple allergens at the same time.
- RAST testing—A small sample of blood is taken and tested for different allergens.
- Provocation testing—You breathe in air containing an allergen. The doctor will watch to see if you have an allergic reaction, such as wheezing or trouble breathing. This test is usually reserved for research settings.
- Wash pillows and bed sheets regularly in hot water.
- Remove carpeting, feather pillows, and upholstered furniture, especially in bedroom.
- Keep clothes off bedroom floor.
- Use acaricides solutions to kill dust mites.
- Keep humidity levels < 50%.
- Use double-bag vacuum bags and HEPA filters.
- Wear facemasks when working with soil, leaves, or compost.
- Try to avoid moist, damp areas within the home.
- Use a dehumidifier in places like your basement that may encourage mold growth.
- Repair leaky roofs or pipes.
- Removal of a pet from home is the most efficient option. It may take 4-6 months to clear the home of pet allergens.
- If you wish to keep pets, keep your pet out of bedroom and off of furniture.
- Frequent vacuuming or removal of rugs
- Be aware of pollen levels and limit your exposure on high days:
- Stay indoors and keep windows closed.
- Consider using an air purifier inside.
- Do not dry clothes outside.
- Shower when you get home. Keep clothes contaminated with pollen out of the bedroom.
- Use petroleum jelly on the nostrils. The jelly may catch some of the allergens before they pass into the nose.
- Nasal filters—Device inserted into the nostrils that can filter allergens before they reach the nose.
- A Neti Pot, nasal sinus rinse, or saline nasal spray may help clear irritants from the nasal passage after exposure. It may also help loosen congestion.
- Nasal corticosteroid (glucocorticoid)—often considered most effective for allergic rhinitis
- Antihistamine—may be pills taken by mouth or as nasal spray
- Nasal mast cell stabilizers
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org
Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Allergic rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Allergic rhinitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116217/Allergic-rhinitis. Updated September 29, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Managing Indoor Allergen Culprits. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Libraries/EL-indoor-allergies-managing-patient.pdf. Updated February 2011. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Rhinitis. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/rhinitis.aspx. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Wheatley L, Togias A. Allergic Rhinitis. N Engl J Med 2015; 372:456-463. Accessed at: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp1412282. Accessed September 23, 2015.
8/11/2006 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116217/Allergic-rhinitis: Durham SR, Yang WH, Pedersen MR, et al. Sublingual immunotherapy with once-daily grass allergen tablets: a randomized controlled trial in seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;117:802-809.
8/27/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116217/Allergic-rhinitis: Kim JM, Lin SY, Suarez-Cuervo C, et al. Allergen-specific immunotherapy for pediatric asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis: a systematic review. Pediatrics. 2013 Jun;131(6):1155-67.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016 -
- Update Date: 02/03/2015 -