If you have been or are experiencing any of these symptoms: uncontrollable sneezing, stuffy and runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, wheezing, coughing, headache, sometimes loss of smell, and sore throat, then you must be suffering from allergic rhinitis.

Most people who have allergies have a family member who also has allergies. It is passed in your genes. Allergic rhinitis occurs when your immune system overreacts to airborne particles. These particles, called allergens, are normally not harmful but your immune system reacts when it becomes sensitized with the perception that it is a potentially harmful substance.   The immune system is your shield against harmful viruses and bacteria yet it may sometimes be over active and react to non-harmful particles.   This hypersensitivity to allergens may produce the allergies symptoms mentioned above. Seasonal allergies occur when your allergy symptoms are flare up during the change of seasons or when pollen counts are high. Perennial allergies occur all throughout the year and are usually due to exposure to dust mites, animal dander or cockroach allergen..

Allergies may lead to complications such as sinusitis and ear infections so it is important to take measures to prevent it: cleaning the house to prevent breeding of dust mites and indoor mold; avoiding exposure to pollen by staying indoors when the pollen counts are high; and avoiding exercising outside in the early mornings when the pollen count is at its peak.

Doctors advise that the best treatment would be prevention however if you already have taken preventive measures, there are several treatment options available. There are over-the-counter medications such as Loratidine and Cetirizine that could help you treat your symptoms.   There are several prescription medications that your allergist can prescribe to give you relief.   Allergy shots are also available for those who have poorly controlled symptoms despite taking medications, or if happens for most of the year, or if you are around to allergens that are unavoidable. Allergen immunotherapy(allergy shots) helps control and reduce your allergic reactions by helping your immune system become less sensitive to the substances you are allergic to.. Through small doses of shots, your body slowly builds up resistance to your allergies without inducing a severe reaction. They do not only treat the symptoms temporarily but also treat the underlying disease. Immunotherapy would reduce the need for expensive medications for years and can provide significant savings in the long run.

Take care of your health. Act now.

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