The sneezing, runny nose, and watery, itchy eyes caused by hay fever can make a person’s daily life miserable and make sleep impossible. The board certified allergists at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates can determine exactly which allergen causes the problem, then treat your symptoms with medications, allergy shots, or sublingual drops. Call or schedule an appointment online to visit the doctors at any of their three premier locations in North Texas: Texas Health Dallas, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, and Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, develops when the nose, ears, sinuses, or throat come into contact with allergy-causing substances called allergens. Allergens are just normal substances in the environment that usually don’t bother most people, but if you’re allergic, your immune system perceives them as harmful. As a result of this abnormal immune reaction, histamines are released when you come in contact with the allergen, and an allergic reaction develops.
There are two general types of hay fever:
Seasonal: Symptoms of allergic rhinitis occur in spring, summer, and early fall due to an allergy to grass, tree, and/or ragweed pollen. Airborne molds and fungi can be seasonal and perennial.
Perennial: Symptoms occur year-round, usually in response to dust, pet dander, and mold.
It’s possible to have both types of hay fever at the same time, which means you’d have symptoms all year long that get worse during the warmer seasons.
The symptoms caused by hay fever mimic a cold.They include:
Several symptom differences can help you determine whether you have hay fever or a cold. With hay fever, your nose has a thin, watery discharge and you won’t have a fever. By comparison, a runny nose during a cold will probably have a thick or yellow discharge and be accompanied by a low-grade fever. Hay fever lasts as long as you’re exposed to the allergen, while a cold runs its course in 3-7 days.
The first step is to get tested to determine exactly which allergens trigger your hay fever. Then the next step is to avoid the allergen as much as possible. For example, you can put filters on air conditioners to minimize pollen and mold. You could put allergy protectors on mattresses and pillows, and remove area rugs and draperies that collect dust and pet dander.
If your allergy symptoms are still bothersome after taking steps to avoid the allergen, then the doctors at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medications, eye drops, or nasal sprays. They can also determine if you’re a candidate for immunotherapy, either allergy shots or sublingual drops, which are placed under the tongue.
Both types of immunotherapy deliver small amounts of the allergen, gradually increasing the dose to eventually desensitize you to the substances that cause your allergies. After 4-6 months, your immune system should tolerate the allergen better, and your hay fever symptoms will be significantly diminished. However, you’ll need maintenance shots or drops for several years.
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"Fantastic staff, expert doctors, incredibly well organized, efficient, engaging, and compassionate staff, including all administrative staff with whom I've interacted."
"I just finished my allergy shots here and am SO much better. Everyone is very friendly and professional and scheduling is very flexible. 100% recommended."
"The doctors and nurses always greet you with a smile and a hello. I have and always will refer my family and friends."
"Dr. Sikka was very caring thorough with me. Yes, I would definitely recommend him to my friends & family."
"The office staff was kind and courteous, they also took the time to explain my insurance coverage and make sure that I knew the cost and insurance coverage."
"Their allergy test are much better than I have had in the past - with Dr Safdarian going the extra mile to test me to verify some items the default test did not find..."
"Greeted by staff when i arrived. Reasonable wait time with several paitents in lobby. Offices clean & staff knowledgeable."
"Dr. Safdarian was extremely detailed and took her time during my first appointment where I was getting tested to see what I was allergic to."
"She is really conscientious about my health care and takes the time to get plenty of information from me and welcomes my questions."
"There is adequate staff at NTAAA, whereas many doctors today are trying to save money by cutting staff. The staff at NTAAA is very good, competent, and friendly..."
"This is one of the best patient experience I have had. Considering that allergy shots are a multi year commitment - they make it easy by having all day shot hours."
"The people at North Texas Allergy and Asthma are always friendly, courteous, and professional."
"Dr. Sikka has made my quality of life so much better! He never pressured me into taking allergy shots and gladly answered all my questions..."
"I couldn't have been happier to find Dr. Sikka. Extremely competent, well educated, very attentive in listening and observing his patient."