UNDERSTANDING ALLERGIC NASAL CONGESTION OR HAY FEVER
Runny nose, stuffy nose/nasal congestion, itchy nose and/or sneezing can all be symptoms of allergies. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, refers to allergic reactions in the nose. Despite referring to hay, it may not be triggered by hay, and will not cause a fever. Other symptoms may include: itchy mouth/eyes/throat, puffy and swollen eyelids, and cough.
WHAT CAUSES ALLERGIC NASAL CONGESTION OR HAY FEVER?
Not everyone who suffers from runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose, and/or sneezing caused by allergic rhinitis will have the same triggers. Some may be triggered from outdoor seasonal allergies such as tree or grass pollen that may only occur during certain seasons, while others may suffer from indoor allergens such as mold, dust mites, and animal dander. See Types of Allergies for more information.
HOW CAN YOU HELP PREVENT ALLERGIC NASAL CONGESTION OR HAY FEVER?
Once you know the allergen that’s triggering your symptoms, it’s best to avoid contact with them. Some helpful tips may include:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Avoid touching or rubbing your nose
- Wash your bedding in hot water and detergent to reduce allergens
- Use dust-mite proof covers for pillows, comforters, duvets, mattresses, and box springs
- Keeping windows closed during high pollen and mold seasons
- Use vacuum filters to avoid allergens while vacuuming
HOW CAN YOU RELIEVE NASAL ALLERGY SYMPTOMS?
Nasal allergy symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter medications. When looking for a medication, look for fast-acting, and with 24-hour symptom relief.
CAN RUNNY NOSE, STUFFY NOSE/NASAL CONGESTION, ITCHY NOSE AND/OR SNEEZING BE CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?
Yes. If your allergist has ruled out allergens, other irritants can aggravate your nose to cause similar nasal symptoms such as:
- Common cold/flu/sinus infection—caused by virus, bacteria, or even fungus
- Nasal disorders (deviated septum or growths such as polyps)
- Drug addictions
- Dry air
- Hormonal changes/pregnancy
- Some medications