Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
One in five people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergy or hay fever. The Allergy Group assists patients in treating symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day activities.
Do you or your child have the following symptoms?
- Facial Pressure & Sinus Pressure
- Nasal Congestion & Snoring
- Itchy Eyes, nose, roof of mouth, or throat
- Swollen and dark circles under eyes
- Runny nose, watery eyes, or sneezing
What are seasonal allergies/hay fever?
Seasonal allergy, or hayfever, is a common disorder afflicting between five and ten percent of the population. The Allergy Group is keenly interested in this group.
Mild seasonal allergies can typically be controlled by avoiding common allergens or by taking over the counter antihistamines. However, moderate to severe seasonal allergens can be miserable and interfere with normally enjoyable outdoor activities or interrupt sleep. Loss of sleep can lead to poor concentration affecting school or work performance.
How can a board-certified allergist help?
The allergist will take a detailed history as well as perform a physical examination and allergy skin scratch testing. Your allergist will interpret these results to help identify what may be triggering your symptoms, discuss how to avoid triggers, and how to treat your symptoms. Although someone may be reactive to multiple allergens, seasonal allergies are not present throughout the year. Generally, grasses are a problem in spring and summer, trees during late winter and spring, molds during late summer and weeds in the fall. However, Idaho does have unique weather conditions and that may affect this generalization.
Allergy testing to determine the "triggers"
Not sure what is causing your allergies? Take an allergy skin test to find out! The test consists of introducing small amounts of the suspected allergens onto the skin using a plastic device dipped in allergen extract. The results are available in 15-20 minutes.
Learn more about Allergy Skin Test.
Once the triggers have been identified, a personalized treatment plan will be outlined with you. This can include the following:
- Avoidance strategies and lifestyle modifications
- Nasal corticosteroid or antihistamine sprays to reduce inflammation
- Oral antihistamines to relieve itching, sneezing & runny nose
- Other medications
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots), only if it is correct for you.
Immunotherapy, only if it is correct for you:
With lifestyle modifications such as environmental control measures and medications, your allergy symptoms may improve. If not or if you do not like taking medications and believe in strengthening your immune system, allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be prescribed. To begin, you will receive injections of the allergens once or twice weekly and eventually, once monthly for three to five years.
The Allergy Group - Friendly, capable and experienced
Our team of physicians and healthcare professionals at The Allergy Group are highly experienced and trained to provide you with the best care. We are committed to your personal healthcare.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance called an allergen. When an allergen, such as pollen, is absorbed into the body of an allergic person, that person’s immune system views the allergen as an invader and a chain reaction is initiated. White blood cells of the immune system produce IgE antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to special cells called mast cells, causing a release of potent chemicals such as histamine. These chemicals cause symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, itching and sneezing.
What are some common allergens?
People can be allergic to one or several allergens. The most common include pollens, molds, dust mites, animal dander (dead skin flakes from animals with fur); foods; medications; cockroach droppings and insect stings.
What kind of doctor is an allergist?
An allergist/clinical immunologist is a Pediatrician or Internist who has undergone 2-3 years of special training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. To understand what you are allergic to, an allergist will take a personalized patient history, including a thorough record of the illness, family history, and home and work (school) environments; perform allergy testing, and possibly perform other laboratory tests. An allergist can create a management plan with you for better control of your environment. Your plan may also include proper medication and perhaps immunotherapy.
What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy, or "allergy shots", is recommended for patients with moderate to severe allergy symptoms throughout most of the year, who do not respond adequately to medications, and whose symptoms are triggered by an allergen that is not easily avoided, such as pollens or house dust mites. Immunotherapy involves the injection of allergenic extracts (tiny amounts of allergens) that are given over a period of 3-5 years. By gradually increasing the amount of extract, tolerance to the offending allergen will increase, and the patient’s symptoms will be relieved.
Will moving help my allergies?
People with allergies have an inherited, genetic tendency to produce IgE, the allergic antibody, to many different substances such as seasonal allergens, (trees, grasses, weeds) or year-round allergens (dust mites, pet dander). When a person with allergies moves to another location, exposure to different allergens in the new location will likely result in a new set of allergy triggers, thereby trading one set of symptoms for another. In some cases, the benefits of a change in location may outweigh the negative aspects.
Can I ever be cured of my allergy?
The tendency to have allergies is genetically inherited. Thus, instead of a cure, patients should work with their allergist to keep their allergies under control. Successful treatment of allergies includes early detection, proper usage of medications and simple allergen avoidance techniques.
Is it dangerous to do nothing about an allergy?
In some cases, it is dangerous to ignore allergy symptoms. Severe and untreated hay fever may lead to asthma, sinusitis, and other serious conditions. Allergic dermatitis or eczema can spread to secondary infections if they are not treated properly, and untreated asthma can lead to chronic symptoms. Early detection and treatment of all allergic diseases is important.
Can I be cured of food allergies?
We cannot treat food allergies through injections of foods, like pollens and dander because there is a chance of severe allergic reactions to the injection. If you are interested in treating food allergies, please refer to our Food Allergy page.