Hay fever or allergic rhinitis, is an allergic response to indoor or outdoor allergens, such as pollen pet dander, or dust mites. If you have allergic rhinitis, your immune system considers allergens as a threat to your body and begins to attack them. This is what causes the typical symptoms of hay fever, such as:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth, or throat
- Sinus pressure and facial pain
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Decreased sense of smell or taste
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is typically triggered by common indoor and outdoor allergens. These can be seasonal or year-round. Seasonal triggers include pollen from trees, ragweed, grass, and spores from fungi and molds. Year-round triggers can include pet dander, dust mites or cockroaches, and spores from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds.
There is also a type of hay fever called non-allergic rhinitis that does not involve the immune system and is not caused by allergies.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The first step to treating hay fever is to make sure it is the cause of your symptoms. You can do this by visiting your local FastMed Urgent Care and speaking with a medical professional. A FastMed physician will be able to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms and recommend a course of action based on what he or she determines.
Typically you will be referred to an allergist who can perform allergy testing and determine whether or not your rhinitis is allergic or nonallergic. In the meantime, a FastMed physician will be able to provide you with treatment options like nasal sprays, antihistamines, or decongestants to relieve your symptoms until your next appointment.