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What Is Hay Fever? Allergic Rhinitis: Symptoms & Treatment Options

What is hay fever?  It’s a common term in vogue to refer to the symptoms of sneezing, runny noses, stuffy noses, and itchy red, watery eyes, triggered by exposure to pollen.  However, these are not usually caused by hay and not associated with fever!  “Allergic Rhinitis” is a more accurate term as it describes the true cause of hay fever, which is inflammation of the lining and other tissues inside the nose.

Also read: Hay Fever in the Washington, DC Area

All of us are exposed to dust mites, mold spores, and pollen very frequently and a majority of us do not have any symptoms as these substances are inherently harmless.   However, some of us are “sensitized” to them, usually determined by our genetic make-up.   In sensitive people, the immune system considers them harmful and forms antibodies to fight them off.   These antibodies (Immunoglobulin E or IgE) are specific to particular substances and memorize their triggers.  When we are sensitized and exposed to the indoor or outdoor allergens, they bind to their specific antibodies and cause chemicals like histamine to be released from different cells, resulting in the classical symptoms.

More than 40 million Americans suffer from Allergic Rhinitis and Allergic Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the membrane covering the eyeball and insides of the eyelids) and the severity can range from mild to debilitating.   In more severe cases the symptoms of hay fever like nasal blockage, post nasal drip, cough, and sleep disturbances can have a substantial impact on the quality of life and many lost work and school days. Indoor allergens like dust mites, pets, and some molds cause year round symptoms whereas outdoor allergens like tree, grass, and weed pollen cause misery in certain seasons.  When over the counter remedies are not relieving the symptoms adequately, physicians specially trained in the treatment of these conditions (board certified allergists) can offer substantial help.

The allergist starts by taking a detailed history of symptoms and environmental triggers and follows up with a focused physical examination.  Simple exams like skin tests are extremely helpful in identifying the specific hay fever triggers which may vary from person to person.  This will enable us to institute some environmental controls in order to reduce exposure to the offending substances and to consider desensitization protocols to enhance the “tolerance” of the immune system so that it does not overreact when it encounters the allergens.  Several well designed clinical studies have proved that this process is very effective in relieving the symptoms of hay fever and reduce the need for medications in 80 to 85% of people over the long term.

What is hay fever?  Now that you can identify it, you can confide in the physicians and staff at Black & Kletz Allergy practice who have had decades of experience and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of this common condition. Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever) in the Washington, DC area and Allergic Conjunctivitis are our specialty and we are committed to offer these services in a professional and caring atmosphere.  Our focus is not only to thoroughly evaluate and treat patients, but also to educate them so that they become empowered to take active control of their allergies.

Asthma Treatment Warrenton, VA

Black & Kletz Allergy offers physician services specializing in asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents trust. There are 2 board certified physicians specializing in allergy and immunology that provide state-of-the-art allergy, immunology, and asthma treatment Warrenton, VA inhabitants rely on. Our allergy doctors begin with performing a comprehensive history followed by a detailed and focused physical examination. This will be followed by targeted tests to evaluate the possible triggers and/or aggravating factors for the patient’s symptoms. These steps are essential for formulating a suitable plan of asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents deserve.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The symptoms of asthma may include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and/or shortness of breath. The symptoms can be adequately controlled with properly planned asthma treatment Warrenton, VA inhabitants expect. Without good management, the patient can experience life-threatening flare-ups, which for the most part can be prevented by asthma treatment Warrenton, VA deserve.

There are many different types of medications that are utilized to control the bothersome symptoms that are part of asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents trust. These medications may include oral medications, inhaled medications, and/or injectable medications. Oral medications may include leukotriene antagonists [e.g., Singulair (montelukast), Accolate (zafirlukast), Zyflo (zileutin)] Beta-agonists (e.g., albuterol), and/or theophylline. Inhaled medications can be daily maintenance medications or they can be as needed quick-relief “rescue” medications. There are also injectable (i.e., biological) medications which can effectively control the condition. All of these medication options may be a part of asthma treatment Warrenton, VA inhabitants are entitled to. The treatment regimen is customized for each patient based on their specific needs.
After explaining the various options in detail to the patient, our specialist physician will formulate a specific asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents trust. After the asthma treatment Warrenton, VA patients expect is initiated, our allergists will reevaluate the patient’s condition on a regular basis. Depending on the response, the asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents get may need to be modified in order to suit the requirements of the patient. Sometimes potential side effects and/or adverse reactions to medications may create the need to modify the asthma treatment Warrenton, VA inhabitants deserve.

Another method that plays a major role in asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents expect are allergy shots. Allergy shots are also referred to as allergy injections, allergy immunotherapy, allergy desensitization, or allergy hyposensitization. Allergy shots or allergy immunotherapy is a procedure which can desensitize individuals to the allergens that they have previously been sensitized to. After the successful integration of this modality in the asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents expect, patients undergoing allergy shots will be able to tolerate exposure to offending allergens and they will no longer trigger acute or chronic allergy or asthma symptoms. Allergy shots are effective in 80-85% of the individuals who take them. Most individuals are on allergy shots for 3-5 years. Allergy shots are effective for the treatment of asthma, hay fever (i.e., allergic rhinitis), and eye allergies (i.e., allergic conjunctivitis).

The board certified allergy doctors at Black & Kletz Allergy have expertise in diagnosing and treating asthma as well as hay fever, eye allergies, eczema (i.e., atopic dermatitis), hives (i.e., urticaria), generalized itching (i.e., pruritus), sinus problems, food allergies, insect sting allergies, eosinophilic esophagitis, medication allergies, and immune deficiencies. We are board certified to treat both pediatric and adult patients and have been doing so in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland metropolitan area for more than 50 years. Black & Kletz Allergy has offices in Washington, DC, McLean, VA (Tysons Corner, VA), and Manassas, VA. All 3 of our offices have on-site parking. For further convenience, our Washington, DC and McLean, VA offices are Metro accessible. Our McLean office location offers a complementary shuttle that runs between our office and the Spring Hill metro station on the silver line. Please call our office directly to schedule an appointment or alternatively, you can click Request an Appointment and we will respond within 24 hours by the next business day. If you suffer from asthma or any other allergic condition, we are here to help alleviate or hopefully end these unwelcome symptoms that have been so bothersome, so that you can enjoy a better quality of life. The allergy specialists at Black & Kletz Allergy consistently use their combined experience of over 5 decades to deliver evidence-based allergy, immunology, and asthma treatment Warrenton, VA residents trust and deserve. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality allergy care in a welcoming and professional environment.