What are allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma?
Allergic rhinitis (often called hay fever) occurs when yourimmune systemoverreacts to particles in the air that
you breathe-you are allergic to them. Your immune system attacks the particles,
causing symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose. The particles are calledallergens, which simply means they can cause anallergic reaction.
Asthmais a long-lasting condition that results in
difficulty breathing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and coughing. When
allergens such as pollens,dust mites,animal dander, cockroaches, and mold make your
symptoms worse, it is known asallergic asthma.
What are the risks of allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma?
Allergic rhinitis can affect your health if you do not
treat it. You may getcomplicationssuch as sinus infections, plugged ears
orear infections, andsinusitis.
If you do not control
allergic asthma, it increases your risk of complications from lung and airway
infections, such asbronchitisandpneumonia.
What are allergy shots?
When you get allergy
shots (immunotherapy), yourallergistor doctor injects small doses of substances
that you are allergic to (allergens) under your skin. This
eventually decreases your reaction to the allergen and, over time, may reduce
the symptoms ofallergic rhinitis. Allergy shots are available for
For more specific information about getting allergy
shots, seeallergy shots for allergic rhinitisorallergy shots for asthma.
information, see the topicAllergic Rhinitis,Asthma in Teens and Adults,Asthma in Children, orAllergic Reaction.