Allergies: Seasonal and Perennial Rhinitis

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They might call it “hay fever,” but it doesn’t come from hay, and it doesn’t cause a fever. The scientific name is allergic rhinitis, and it can make you feel downright sick.

Suffering from allergies? You can run, but you can’t hide.

They might call it “hay fever,” but it doesn’t come from hay, and it doesn’t cause a fever. The scientific name is allergic rhinitis, and it can make you feel downright sick. The symptoms range from sneezing and a runny or congested nose, all the way to a general feeling of fatigue and malaise.

Most allergies come in one of two forms: seasonal or perennial. People who suffer seasonally are allergic to the pollen of certain plants. Trees pollinate in the spring, grass in the late spring and early summer, and some in the late summer until the first killing frost. House dust, molds and cats or horses are common allergens for the perennial sufferer. They’re around all the time, and if you are allergic to them or to smoke or pollution, your hay fever might never let up.

The only way to get complete relief from allergies is to avoid what bothers you. That’s easier said than done, since you can’t always pinpoint the culprit, especially when it is airborne. Moving to a different locale won’t help either, since you might find a host of a new allergens waiting there for you.

Seasonal allergy sufferers should stay inside with the windows, shut as much as possible during the allergy season. Air conditioner filters also help remove pollen from the air.

Most people are able to find relief by using antihistamines and decongestants for the symptoms of allergies. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you about the correct dosage of antihistamines and decongestants.

It’s easy to mistake allergies for a cold.

But you should suspect an allergy is your trouble if your symptoms fit one of the following categories:

- Last for more than a week.

- Go on all the time (house dust or mold).

- Start up and stop at the same time each year (pollen).

- Get worsen around cats or horses.

- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find relief for your allergy symptoms.

How to figure out what you’ve got

Allergic rhinitis is what more and more people suffer from each year. And it pretty much covers and includes most forms of allergies.

Seasonal rhinitis is the kind that causes you to suffer from allergic reactions at specific times throughout the year: usually early spring, early summer and late summer. Seasonal rhinitis is often referred to as hay fever, and the different dusts and pollens in the air during the three allergy seasons cause all the familiar symptoms of hay fever.

People can develop seasonal allergic rhinitis at ages as young as early childhood and on through adolescence and early adulthood. Symptoms usually diminish as you grow older, but they never completely go away.

Perennial allergic rhinitis causes symptoms throughout the whole year. Offending culprits include house dust, molds and dust mites. These things are not linked to changes in seasons.

People suffering from both types of allergic rhinitis complain of the same types of symptoms. Those who have just mild sensitivity complain of itching round the mucosal membranes inside their nose or eyes. These people often make their situation worse than it really is by constantly rubbing their nose or eyes and irritating the already-sensitive skin.

People with greater sensitivity suffer from the same itching, but they also suffer from sneezing, watering eyes, runny nose and other cold-like symptoms. Often they suffer from weakness, fatigue, chronic cough and itching throat, loss of appetite and sense of taste or smell, and decreased attention span.

Occasionally these symptoms can develop into the more serious cases of sinusitis, nasal polyps or ear infections.

Unfortunately, there are no real cures for allergic rhinitis – there are only different ways to control it and to keep it from getting worse.

 

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About This Article

Elaine P. N.

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