Blowing your nose and rubbing your itchy eyes? You might have allergic rhinitis, an allergic reaction to substances you have inadvertently inhaled. There are two main types:
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis (commonly called seasonal allergies or hay fever) is caused by seasonal increases in levels of tree, grass, weed pollens and mold.
- Perennial allergic rhinitis is an allergic response that can happen at any time of the year. Its causes include a variety of substances, many of them found indoors: dust mites, mold, pet dander or even cockroaches.
How Can I Get Help for Allergic Rhinitis?
These symptoms are commonly associated with allergic rhinitis:
- Sneezing or other cold-like symptoms that last more than 10 days without a fever
- Frequent throat clearing, hoarseness, coughing or wheezing
- Watery or itchy eyes that last more than 10 days
- Repeated ear and sinus infections
- Loss of smell or taste
- Dark circles under the eyes (which can result from congested blood flow near the sinuses)
Allergy Treatment at Rush
If you have a diagnosis of allergic rhinitis, your care at Rush might involve one or more of the following:
- Allergy testing to determine which substances are causing your allergies — so you can avoid them
- Antihistamines to help treat acute (short-term) symptoms
- Corticosteroids, usually in a nasal spray, which can effectively fight long- and short-term symptoms
- Other types of medications, such as decongestants to help relieve short-term nasal congestion or leukotriene inhibitors to block the symptom-causing chemicals your body releases in response to allergens
- Allergy shots, also called allergen immunotherapy, which can help your body become more resistant to some allergens
Rush Excellence in Allergy Care
- Access to groundbreaking clinical trials: Doctors at Rush are also researchers looking for new ways to control allergies. This means they can offer some patients treatments that might not be widely available.
- Connecting the dots of allergy care: This research can also lead to discoveries that inform care. For example, doctors at Rush recently found that the likelihood of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was more than two times higher in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
- Among the best in the nation: Rush University Medical Center's ENT program is consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.