Rhinitis refers to an inflammation of the mucus membranes of the nose - a condition affecting approximately 40 million people. The specialists in Lahey's Allergy Department are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of both seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis.Seasonal allergic rhinitis (commonly known as hay fever) is triggered by outdoor allergens such as airborne tree, grass and weed pollens or mold. Year-round (perennial) allergic rhinitis is more persistent, but less severe symptomatically, than seasonal rhinitis. It is typically caused by indoor allergens such as animal dander, indoor mold, and droppings from cockroaches and dust mites. Symptoms of both seasonal and year-round allergic rhinitis can include the following:
Your Lahey physician will take a full health history and, if necessary, administer skin tests. Less frequently, in cases where skin tests cannot be performed, blood (radioallergosorbent, or RAST) tests to determine which allergen or allergens are triggering your symptoms will be administered. Depending on your diagnosis, your treatment may consist of lifestyle or behavioral changes to eliminate exposure to allergens; medications such as antihistamines, inhaled nasal corticosteroids or decongestants; or allergy injections.