Environmental Allergy / Hay Fever
Hay fever, also referred to as rhinitis, environmental allergy or seasonal allergy affects millions of people across the U.S. Similar to any other allergy, environmental allergies occur when the body becomes sensitized to something within the environment that would not normally cause a reaction. They affect all age groups, and can develop at any stage of life. Allergies can greatly impact quality of life.
Common symptoms include nasal drainage and congestion, sneezing, cough, and itchy or watery eyes. Often these symptoms occur in a seasonal pattern (such as Spring and Fall) depending on what in the environment a person is reacting to. People can react to just about anything within their surroundings, such as dust, mold, pollen from trees and grass, weeds and animals.
Allergists specialize in identifying and treating environmental allergies. Skin testing using known allergenic extracts from your area, will help to identify exactly what it is that your body has become sensitized to. With this information, along with the severity of your symptoms, and quality of life a treatment plan will be customized to you. Treatment can range from use of antihistamines and nasal sprays, to allergy shots (which is also known as desensitization). For more information on allergy shots, please view the allergy shots page. Left untreated, allergies can cause sinus infections and chronic sinus problems.