(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
- Topical corticosteroids—Nasal sprays that decrease swelling in the nasal passages
- Mast cell inhibitors—Nasal sprays that interfere with the chemical reactions leading to histamine release
- Antihistamines—Block the action of histamine; available as nasal spray, pill, or syrup
Decongestants—Decrease congestion by constricting blood vessels; taken as pills or as a nasal spray
- Note: Using a nasal spray may lead to rebound congestion.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots) and Sublingual Therapy
- Stay inside during the morning hours when pollen counts are highest.
- Avoid outside activities during the time of year when the trees, grasses, weeds, or molds are blooming.
- Keep the windows of your house and car closed to keep pollen out.
- Use an air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity and to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Clean your air conditioner's filters regularly.
- Consider running an air purifier in your home, especially in your bedroom.
- Use vacuum cleaners and air conditioners with HEPA filters to trap allergens.
- Decrease or avoid outdoor activities on hot summer days, when ozone levels may make your symptoms worse.
- Cover pillows and mattresses with vinyl covers to reduce your exposure to dust mites.
- Wash bedding weekly in very hot water.
- Use fewer dust-collecting items, such as curtains, bed skirts, carpeting, and stuffed animals, especially in your bedroom.
- If you can't avoid having a pet with fur, vacuum frequently and keep your pet out of bedrooms and other rooms with carpets.
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/
Calgary Allergy Network http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed October 31, 2012.
Allergic rhinitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/. Updated October 24, 2012. Accessed October 31, 2012.
Middleton E. Allergy: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book, Inc; 2009.
Rhinitis. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/rhinitis.aspx. Accessed October 31, 2012.
8/11/2006 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: 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.
- Reviewer: Purvee S. Shah, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 10/31/2012 -