Are You Sneezy and Itchy? Do You Have a Runny Nose and Red, Watering Eyes? It Might Be Hay Fever

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If you’re sneezy, itchy, have red eyes and a runny nose, chances are you may have hay fever.

Dr. Michael Sullivan, an allergist at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates, P.C., says allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, can happen to anyone.

“It’s very frequent,” says Dr. Sullivan. “It’s a big problem in kids, in adolescents and adults. A lot of kids have an impairment of their quality of life, as well as adults. Kids miss time from school, adults miss time from [work]. It disrupts sleep at night.”

Hay fever can be more debilitating to daily life than just a cold, especially in group or social situations.

“If you have persistent runny nose, it’s embarrassing. If you’re sneezing loud in the classroom, it’s disruptive,” says Dr. Sullivan. “If you’re coughing, that can be disruptive, or makes people afraid to be around you because they think you’re sick.”

There are a few treatment options available.

“We have three forms of therapy,” says Dr. Sullivan. “You can try avoiding the allergy, you can try medication or you can try allergy shots.”

He says for avoidance therapy for some allergies like tree pollens and grasses, you might try to spend more time indoors, run the AC or an air purifier, and shower at night to help wash off any allergens before bed. For indoor allergens like dust mites or pet dander, you might try getting protective covers for your mattress and box spring and keeping any pets out of your bedroom. But, if avoidance doesn’t work, or isn’t feasible, medications can help.

“There’s a host of medications that are available,” says Dr. Sullivan. “There’s over-the-counter antihistamines, over-the-counter nasal steroids.”

The third option is allergy shots.

“There’s allergy shots, which are able to kind of fix the problem, whereas medications kind of Band-Aids, which are very helpful but allergy shots can kind of fix it,” says Dr. Sullivan.

Hay fever can be seasonal, but for someone with allergens like dust, pet dander and mold, it can be year-round.

If you have symptoms that might be allergic rhinitis, reach out to Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates, P.C. at 402-464-5969 to get set up with a consultation for allergy testing. After that, the allergists will work with you on a treatment plan to get you breathing better and enjoying life.

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