What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may at first feel love those of a freezing. But unlike a freezing that may incubate before causing discomfort, symptoms of allergies generally appear almost as soon as a person encounters an allergen, such as pollen or mold.

Symptoms include itchy eyes, ears, nose or throat, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness.

What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

People may also experience cough, postnasal drip, sinus pressure or headaches, decreased sense of smell, snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue and asthma, Josephson said. [Oral Allergy Syndrome: 6 Ways to Avoid an Itchy, Tingling Mouth]

Many of these symptoms are the immune system’s overreaction as it attempts to protect the vital and sensitive respiratory system from exterior invaders. The antibodies produced by the body hold the foreign invaders out, but also cause the symptoms characteristic of allergic responses.

People can develop hay fever at any age, but most people are diagnosed with the disorder in childhood or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms typically become less severe as people age.

Often, children may first experience food allergies and eczema, or itchy skin, before developing hay fever, Josephson said. «This then worsens over the years, and patients then develop allergies to indoor allergens love dust and animals, or seasonal rhinitis, love ragweed, grass pollen, molds and tree pollen.»

Hay fever can also lead to other medical conditions.

What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

People who are allergic to weeds are more likely to get other allergies and develop asthma as they age, Josephson said. But those who get immunotherapy, such as allergy shots that assist people’s bodies get used to allergens, are less likely to develop asthma, he said.


Hay fever treatments

Dr. Sarita Patil, an allergist with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Allergy Associates in Boston, talked to Live Science about strategies for outdoor lovers with seasonal allergies.

Patil suggested figuring out exactly what type of pollen you’re allergic to, and then avoiding planning outdoor activities during peak pollinating times in the months when those plants are in bloom.

Numerous grasses, for example, typically pollinate in tardy spring and early summer and release most of their spores in the afternoon and early evening.

Her other strategies: Be capable to identify the pollen perpetrator by sight; monitor pollen counts before scheduling outdoor time; go exterior at a time of day when the plants that make you go achoo are not pollinating; and wear protective gear love sunglasses, among other tips. [7 Strategies for Outdoor Lovers with Seasonal Allergies]

Allergy sufferers may also select to combat symptoms with medication designed to shut below or trick the immune sensitivity in the body.

What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

Whether over-the-counter or prescription, most allergy pills work by releasing chemicals into the body that bind naturally to histamine — the protein that reacts to the allergen and causes an immune response — negating the protein’s effect.

Other allergy remedies attack the symptoms at the source. Nasal sprays contain athletic ingredients that decongest by soothing irritated blood vessels in the nose, while eye drops both moisturize and reduce inflammation.

What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

Doctors may also prescribe allergy shots, Josephson said.

For kids, allergy medications are tricky. A nationally representative poll of parents with kids between ages 6 and 12 found that 21% of parents said they had trouble figuring out the correct dose of allergy meds for their child; 15% of parents gave a kid an adult form of the allergy medicine, and 33% of these parents also gave their kid the adult dose of that medicine.

Doctors may also recommend allergy shots, a neti pot that can rinse the sinuses, or a Grossan Hydropulse — an irrigating system that cleans the nose of pollens, infection and environmental irritants, Josephson said.

Alternative and holistic options, along with acupuncture, may also assist people with hay fever, Josephson said.

People can also avoid pollen by keeping their windows closed in the spring, and by using air purifiers and air conditioners at home.

Probiotics may also be helpful in stopping those itchy eyes and runny noses. A review published in the journal International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology found that people who suffer from hay fever may benefit from using probiotics, or «good bacteria,» thought to promote a healthy gut. Although the jury is still out on whether probiotics are an effective treatment for seasonal allergies, the researchers noted that these gut bacteria could hold the body’s immune system from flaring up in response to allergens — something that could reduce allergy symptoms.

[5 Myths About Probiotics]

Additional resources:

This article was updated on April 30, , by Live Science Contributor Rachel Ross.

Human disease

«Hay fever» redirects here. For the frolic, see Hay Fever (play).

Allergic rhinitis
Other names Hay fever, pollinosis
Pollen grains from a variety of plants, enlarged times and about mm wide
Specialty Allergy and immunology
Symptoms Stuffy itchy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, swelling around the eyes, itchy ears[1]
Usual onset 20 to 40 years old[2]
Causes Genetic and environmental factors[3]
Risk factors Asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis[2]
Diagnostic method Based on symptoms, skin prick test, blood tests for specific antibodies[4]
Differential diagnosis Common cold[3]
Prevention Exposure to animals early in life[3]
Medication Nasal steroids, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, cromolyn sodium, leukotriene receptor antagonists such as montelukast, allergen immunotherapy[5][6]
Frequency ~20% (Western countries)[2][7]

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air.[6] Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes.[1] The fluid from the nose is generally clear.[2] Symptom onset is often within minutes following allergen exposure and can affect sleep, and the ability to work or study.[2][8] Some people may develop symptoms only during specific times of the year, often as a result of pollen exposure.[3] Numerous people with allergic rhinitis also own asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis.[2]

Allergic rhinitis is typically triggered by environmental allergens such as pollen, pet hair, dust, or mold.[3] Inherited genetics and environmental exposures contribute to the development of allergies.[3] Growing up on a farm and having multiple siblings decreases this risk.[2] The underlying mechanism involves IgE antibodies that attach to an allergen, and subsequently result in the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine from mast cells.[2] Diagnosis is typically based on a combination of symptoms and a skin prick test or blood tests for allergen-specific IgE antibodies.[4] These tests, however, can be falsely positive.[4] The symptoms of allergies resemble those of the common cold; however, they often final for more than two weeks and typically do not include a fever.[3]

Exposure to animals early in life might reduce the risk of developing these specific allergies.[3] Several diverse types of medications reduce allergic symptoms: including nasal steroids, antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, cromolyn sodium, and leukotriene receptor antagonists such as montelukast.[5] Often times, medications do not completely control symptoms and own side effects.[2] Exposing people to larger and larger amounts of allergen, known as allergen immunotherapy (AIT), is often effective.[6] The allergen can be as an injections under the skin or as a tablet under the tongue.[6] Treatment typically lasts three to five years after which benefits may be prolonged.[6]

Allergic rhinitis is the type of allergy that affects the greatest number of people.[9] In Western countries, between 10–30% of people are affected in a given year.[2][7] It is most common between the ages of twenty and forty.[2] The first precise description is from the 10th century physician Rhazes.[10] Pollen was identified as the cause in by Charles Blackley.[11] In , the mechanism was sure by Clemens von Pirquet.[9] The link with hay came about due to an early (and incorrect) theory that the symptoms were brought about by the smell of new hay.[12][13]


Common allergens

The most common allergen is pollen, a powder released by trees, grasses and weeds that fertilize the seeds of neighboring plants.

As plants rely on the wind to do the work for them, the pollination season sees billions of microscopic particles fill the air, and some of them finish up in people’s noses and mouths.

Spring bloomers include ash, birch, cedar, elm and maple trees, plus numerous species of grass. Weeds pollinate in the tardy summer and drop, with ragweed being the most volatile.

The pollen that sits on brightly colored flowers is rarely responsible for hay fever because it is heavier and falls to the ground rather than becoming airborne.

What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

Bees and other insects carry flower pollen from one flower to the next without ever bothering human noses.

Mold allergies are diverse. Mold is a spore that grows on rotting logs, dead leaves and grasses. While dry-weather mold species exist, numerous types of mold thrive in moist, rainy conditions, and release their spores overnight. During both the spring and drop allergy seasons, pollen is released mainly in the morning hours and travels best on dry, warm and breezy days.


Pollen count

How do scientists know how much pollen is in the air? They set a trap. The trap — generally a glass plate or rod coated with adhesive — is analyzed every few hours, and the number of particles collected is then averaged to reflect the particles that would pass through the area in any hour period.

That measurement is converted to pollen per cubic meter. Mold counts work much the same way.

A pollen count is an imprecise measurement, scientists confess, and an arduous one — at the analysis stage, pollen grains are counted one by one under a microscope. It is also highly time-consuming to discern between types of pollen, so they are generally bundled into one variable. Given the imprecise nature of the measurement, entire daily pollen counts are often reported simply as low, moderate or high.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology provides up-to-date pollen counts for U.S.

states.


Signs and symptoms

The characteristic symptoms of allergic rhinitis are: rhinorrhea (excess nasal secretion), itching, sneezing fits, and nasal congestion and obstruction.[14] Characteristic physical findings include conjunctival swelling and erythema, eyelid swelling with Dennie–Morgan folds, lower eyelid venous stasis (rings under the eyes known as «allergic shiners»), swollen nasal turbinates, and middle ear effusion.[15]

There can also be behavioral signs; in order to relieve the irritation or flow of mucus, people may wipe or rub their nose with the palm of their hand in an upward motion: an action known as the «nasal salute» or the «allergic salute».

This may result in a crease running across the nose (or above each nostril if only one side of the nose is wiped at a time), commonly referred to as the «transverse nasal crease», and can lead to permanent physical deformity if repeated enough.[16]

People might also discover that cross-reactivity occurs.[17] For example, people allergic to birch pollen may also discover that they own an allergic reaction to the skin of apples or potatoes.[18] A clear sign of this is the occurrence of an itchy throat after eating an apple or sneezing when peeling potatoes or apples.

This occurs because of similarities in the proteins of the pollen and the food.[19] There are numerous cross-reacting substances. Hay fever is not a true fever, meaning it does not cause a core body temperature in the fever over –°C (–°F).


Tests & diagnosis

A physician will consider patient history and act out a thorough physical examination if a person reports having hay-fever-like symptoms. If necessary, the physician will do an allergy test.

What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes

According to the Mayo Clinic, people can get a skin-prick test, in which doctors prick the skin on a person’s arm or upper back with diverse substances to see if any cause an allergic reaction, such as a raised bump called a hive. [7 Strange Signs You’re Having an Allergic Reaction]

Blood tests for allergies are also available. This test rates the immune system’s response to a specific allergen by measuring the quantity of allergy-causing antibodies in the bloodstream, according to the Mayo Clinic.


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What to do for itchy watery allergy eyes