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Hay Fever Therapy And Treatment

Sep 4, 2008
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is an alternative if medical therapy is not helpful. Allergy shots do not always help, but they can improve symptoms in many people. They are usually given by an allergist.

Immunotherapy consists of a series of injections over several months. The shots contain very small amounts of the antigen causing the hay fever reaction. The idea is to minimize your reaction to the allergen by slowly decreasing your sensitivity to it in a controlled setting, which is usually the allergist's office. Allergy shots do not always work, but in general hay fever responds well to this treatment. Severe adverse effects are uncommon.

Your immune system changes over time. Sometimes your body naturally lowers its immune reaction to allergens. Follow the treatment recommendations of your health care provider. Give the medications a chance. Most of them work well but some take several days to reach full effectiveness.

See your health care provider if you experience any complication of hay fever. Any adverse effects of the medications prescribed should also prompt a visit to your health care provider. Consult your health care provider periodically to see if new, better medications with fewer side effects are available.

Periodic re-evaluation of your allergy sensitivity is also recommended to prevent further illness. If you would like to have allergy shots for desensitization, discuss it with your primary health care provider or an allergist.

You can't prevent hay fever altogether, but you can learn to cope with it. Follow the treatment recommendations of your health care provider. The medications are very effective but may take several days to reach full effectiveness.

Moving to a new part of the country usually doesn't help. People who do this often find themselves with new allergies within a few years. Use air conditioning and limit outside exposure during hay fever season.

Allergy shots may help reduce the severity of your symptoms. To keep from bringing your allergy indoors, do what you can to keep your home free of mold and other allergens.Common complications of hay fever include the following.

Secondary infection: This is a bacterial infection that occurs in tissues such as the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, or sinuses or the ear that have already been irritated and inflamed by the allergic reaction. Ear infection (otitis) or sinus infection (sinusitis) are common secondary infections of hay fever. Rebound nasal congestion (rhinitis medicamentosa): This may result from using decongestant nasal sprays more than twice daily for 3 consecutive days.

Facial changes: Most of the facial changes are because of local inflammation and congestion. These are temporary and resolve with the treatment of the disease. These include facial swelling, redness around the nose, and allergic "shiners." The crease across the top of the nose caused by frequent nose wiping can persist in children with long-term hay fever.
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