If you suffer nasal congestion, sniffling, or sneezing during certain seasons, you may have hay fever (seasonal allergies). At Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C., with two offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Thomas Chacko, MD, is an expert at identifying seasonal allergens and providing effective care to alleviate symptoms. To see if you can benefit from expert help for hay fever, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis, occurs when your immune system overreacts to airborne substances. When you encounter the specific substance (allergen), your immune system releases chemicals, like histamines, which cause your allergy symptoms.
Hay fever is often caused by pollen that’s released from grasses and trees in the summer and spring and ragweed in the fall. But seasonal allergies can also be triggered by dust mites, pet dander, or mold spores.
Hay fever can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
Children with hay fever may develop middle ear or sinus infections. Seasonal allergies are also closely related to asthma and may cause migraines.
To diagnose the cause of your seasonal allergies, your provider may order skin allergy testing. These may include skin patches, prick tests, or intradermal injections. The tests work by introducing the suspected allergen (irritant) to your skin and waiting to see if you develop a reaction.
If you’re allergic to any of the introduced substances, you’ll develop a red, itchy bump at the site. Depending on the type of test you receive, you can expect to see a reaction within 48 hours.
Hay fever treatment depends on the type and severity of your allergy symptoms. Your provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription nose sprays and eye drops.
Another treatment option is immunotherapy, which can help desensitize your immune system so it doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction. Your immunotherapy begins with a build-up phase that gradually increases the dose of the allergen into your body.
Once you and your provider find an optimal dose, you’ll continue with a maintenance phase to continually build your resistance until you no longer need immunotherapy.
If you suffer from hay fever symptoms and need help managing seasonal allergies, call the nearest Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. office or book an appointment online today. Click here to learn more information