For many people with environmental allergies, exposure to harmless substances such as pollen in the spring, grasses in the summer, weeds in the fall, or dust, mold, and animal dander year-round, means unbearable itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose. These people have a diagnosis of allergic rhinitis, otherwise known as hay fever.
Environmental allergies elicit an array of symptoms, including itchy eyes, red and watery eyes, postnasal drip, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, dry cough, and an itchy throat. Other symptoms can include loss of taste or smell, snoring, frequent sinus infections, and worsening of asthma symptoms.
Common environmental allergens include trees, pollens, mold, dust, cockroaches, and household pets. In patients with allergic rhinitis, the body's defense mechanism treats these allergens as an infectious agent and starts its attack against these invaders, unleashing a host of chemicals, including histamine. This reaction triggers the allergy symptoms which typically begin within 5-10 minutes after allergen exposure, but can linger for hours or days after an exposure.
For people with mild allergies, relief is often just a drugstore shelf away; however, for others with more severe allergies, the uncontrolled symptoms draw them to seek our help. Patients who see one of our otolaryngologists receive a complete allergy work-up and tailored treatment and management of their condition. Treatment options may include environmental changes, prescription medications, or allergy desensitization procedures.
Our team of allergy specialists includes Gregory Bonaiuto, MD, Carl Moeller, MD, Timothy O'Brien, MD, and Brook Seeley, MD. To learn more about allergy treatment, please call (860) 493-1950 or visit our patient portal to request an appointment.