Hay fever is a type of inflammation in the nose that occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy and watery eyes and swelling around the eyes. The fluid from the nose is usually clear. Symptoms often begin within minutes of allergen exposure and can affect sleep and the ability to work or study. Some people may develop symptoms only at certain times of the year, often due to exposure to pollen. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma, allergic conjunctivitis or atopic dermatitis.
Allergic rhinitis is usually caused by environmental allergens such as pollen, pet hair, dust or mold. Hereditary genetics and environmental exposure contribute to the development of allergies. Growing up on a farm and having multiple siblings reduces this risk. The underlying mechanism involves IgE antibodies that attach to an allergen and then result in the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine from mast cells. Diagnosis is usually based on a combination of symptoms and a skin prick test or blood test for allergen-specific IgE antibodies. However, these tests can be false positive. Allergy symptoms are similar to those of the common cold; however, they often last more than two weeks and usually do not include a fever.
Exposure to animals at an early age can reduce the risk of developing these specific allergies. Several types of medications reduce allergic symptoms, including nasal steroids, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, cromolyn sodium and leukotriene receptor antagonists such as montelukast. Often medications do not completely control symptoms and may also have side effects. Exposing people to increasing amounts of allergen, also called allergen immunotherapy (AIT), is often effective. The allergen can be administered as an injection under the skin or as a tablet under the tongue. Treatment usually lasts three to five years, after which the benefits can be extended.
BeterKliniek is the clinic for Integrative Medicine that bridges regular and non-regular medicine.
An van Veen (physician) and Michael van Gils (therapist) look for the cause of a condition or disease. That is where the treatment starts otherwise, as people often say, it is 'carrying water to the sea'. We call this cause medicine. Sometimes it is also desirable to treat the symptoms (at the same time). We call this symptom medicine.
Chronic disorders often have their cause in epi- genetics. You can schedule a free informative telephone consultation (phone number 040-7117337 until 1 p.m.) at BeterKliniek to discuss your symptoms so that we can provide you with further advice.