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 sinusitis and ear infections as a result of your allergies.
Larissa Stouffer of Melrose, Mass., usually sneezes not once, not twice, but three times. She sneezes as she gets into a car if it's sunny outside, but not when it's cloudy; her dad does the same thing. And as soon as she pops some mint chewing gum into her mouth, out comes an achoo.
Stouffer, 30, isn't the only one with a fickle nose. Many people sneeze at peculiar moments -- such as after exercise, plucking their eyebrows, in the sunshine, or after sex.
Here are the reasons why they sneeze at...
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?
In most cases, when you have allergic rhinitis:
You sneeze again and again, especially after you wake up in the morning.
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 dust mites, 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 problem.
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 reaction.
Your doctor may order lab tests. These tests look for substances that put you at risk for allergies.