Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
- Diagnosis & Treatment
How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?
If you suspect you have allergic rhinitis, consult an ENT specialist or an allergist. Your ENT specialist may perform a:
- Skin prick test or allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody test to identify the allergic triggers causing your symptoms.
- Nasoendoscopy (video camera examination of the nose) to evaluate the severity of your condition.
Depending on the type of allergens you are sensitive to, your doctor will advise you on how to avoid triggering or worsening the symptoms.
How is allergic rhinitis treated?
Allergic rhinitis is generally treated by minimising your exposure to allergens in your environment. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to control your symptoms, or recommend immunotherapy.
To reduce your exposure to house dust mites:
- Wash your bedding (bed sheets, pillow cases and covers) in hot water that is at least 60°C, weekly or fortnightly.
- Clean and service your air conditioner and filters regularly if you sleep in an air-conditioned room.
- Minimise the use of fabric furniture, carpets or thick fabric curtains around the house.
- Use damp cloths for cleaning surfaces around the house to reduce dust accumulation.
- Use acaricide sprays on heavy fabric material to destroy house dust mites.
- Use a vacuum for cleaning instead of sweeping up dust.
If your child has allergic rhinitis:
- Minimise the number of stuffed toys around the house
- Remove any stuffed toys from their bedroom
If environmental measures are insufficient to control your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe:
- Non-sedating antihistamines
- Topical nasal saline rinses or topical nasal steroid sprays
- Other medications such as decongestants or leukotriene antagonists
Allergies are caused by an excessive response from our immune system to generally harmless environmental substances. To reduce your sensitivity to an allergen, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy.
This treatment exposes patients to small doses of their allergens over a period of time. They may be administered through:
- Allergy shots, which is typically injected into the upper arm.
- Allergy drops, where a liquid or tablet is placed under the tongue.
Arrange a consultation with our ENT specialists to explore your treatment options.