Allergic rhinitis is an allergy in the nose
and generally when exposed to an allergy the nose produces secretions, causes your nose
to itch and may cause your eyes to itch. Generally I see more allergic rhinitis in
the fall and the spring, although some people have symptoms year round. In the fall we often
see ragweed and then in the spring it is the pollen from the trees.
Generally nasal congestion, clear drainage from the nose, itching within the nose and
throat, itching eyes and fullness in the ears. Allergic rhinitis is generally treated medically.
We will use medicines called intranasal steroids sprays. You may have heard of some of these
medicines that are now over the counter, Flonase and Nasacort for example. Oftentimes people
will also use antihistamine medicines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra which are
also available over the counter. You can also see an allergist for other treatment
options if those medications don’t control your symptoms.
Unfortunately there is not a great way to prevent allergic rhinitis, avoidance of the
allergen is one option once you know what you are allergic to but that is tough when
the allergen is everywhere around you. We see kids and adults with this and it is
our job to sort out what exactly is going on and what the best treatment options are.