People with allergies
usually have symptoms for many years. You may have symptoms often during the
year, or just at certain times. You also may get other problems such as
ear infections as a result of your allergies.
Summer is ending, you’re heading into fall. But you’re still sneezing and sniffling all day and into the night. What’s going on?
Odds are you’re among the 10% to 30% of Americans who suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. And most cases of hay fever are caused by an allergy to fall pollen from plants belonging to the genus Ambrosia -- more commonly known as ragweed.
Over time, allergens may begin to affect you less, and your symptoms may
not be as severe as they had been.
What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?
most cases, when you have allergic rhinitis:
You sneeze again and again, especially after you wake up in the
You have a runny nose and
postnasal drip. The drainage from a runny nose caused
by allergies is usually clear and thin. But it may become thicker and cloudy or
yellowish if you get a nasal or sinus infection.
You probably know that pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds cause
allergic rhinitis. Many people have allergies to
animal dander, cockroaches, and mold as well. Things
in the workplace, such as cereal grain, wood dust, chemicals, or lab animals,
can also cause allergic rhinitis.
If you are allergic to pollens,
you may have symptoms only at certain times of the year. If you are allergic to
dust mites and indoor allergens, you may have symptoms all the time.
How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?
To find out if
you have allergies, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you.
Knowing what symptoms you have, when you get them, and what makes them worse or
better can help your doctor know whether you have allergies or another
If you have severe symptoms, you may need to have allergy
tests to find out what you are allergic to.
Your doctor may do a skin test. In this test your doctor puts a
small amount of an allergen into your skin to see if it causes an allergic
Your doctor may order lab tests. These tests look for
substances that put you at risk for allergies.