Nasal allergies, also known as seasonal or perennial allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is a condition that affects millions of people each year and is due to an individual's immune system abnormally reacting to airborne pollen (tree, grass, and weed), animal allergens, dust, mold and sometimes cockroaches.
The resulting symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose and throat, nasal congestion, drainage down the throat, itchy or watery eyes and sometimes headache or facial pressure.
Skin testing for allergens is performed on the back or arms. If the patient is allergic, a hive will develop at the site of each allergen tested. The result is measured within twenty minutes. Blood tests can also be performed to test for allergies.
Treatments include avoidance, medication and immunotherapy. Avoidance entails eliminating exposure to the allergen. Pollen avoidance is limited but includes avoiding outdoor activity on high pollen days, washing off after outside activity to remove pollen from the body, keeping windows closed during time high pollen count, wearing a mask and goggles when doing yard work or gardening, and utilizing an air purifier in the home to remove pollen from the indoor environment. Animal allergen avoidance includes removing animals in the home and minimizing exposure to them.