Allergic Rhinitis (Hayfever)
Our allergy clinic offers services in hayfever investigation and management. Allergic rhinitis or hayfever is a very common condition and can affect 1 in 5 individuals. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness of eyes or nose. Nasal congestion, if present, can lead to snoring or sleep apnea, which can affect your quality of sleep, leaving you feeling sleepy and tired during the day.
The main reason to investigate and manage this is that it may have a significant impact on your quality of life. Importantly, it can increase your risk of developing asthma in the future. Symptoms develop when you form a hypersensitivity to certain allergens such as pollens, dust mite, moulds and animal hair. Symptoms may occur during certain seasons (usually due to allergies to grass, weed or tree pollens) or are present all year round (usually caused by allergies to house dust mites, moulds or animal hairs).
To investigate this condition you can have a series of skin prick or blood tests. If these are positive and consistent with your symptoms, then there are a number of treatment options available. Some of these include intranasal steroid sprays, antihistamines, a combination of these or immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is also known as desensitization. It involves the administration of regular, gradually increasing amounts of the allergen so that the body can become immune to it effects. Treatments can be given by injections under the skin, or using drops or tablets under the tongue. Side effects, time and costs of treatment may determine which ones you choose. Treatment is usually for 3-5 years and can have long lasting benefits.