Allergies

3 Broad types of allergies

1. Allergic Rhinitis - The most common type. Presents with some of all of the following symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, congestion, itchy nose/eyes, and cough.

2. Eczema - Recurring skin irritation usually worse in the inside parts of joints such as the elbow, knee and ankle.

3. Asthma - Can be thought of as allergies of the lungs usually
presents as wheezing, but can present as recurring cough.

Allergic Rhinitis(AR), often referred to by the general public as "sinus" or "allergies", is a condition of the upper airway resulting from sensitivity to a variety of possible allergens. Seasonal AR occurs due to pollen in the air from trees and grasses mostly. March and October are the peak months in this area. However, fall allergy season often starts in mid August with "ragweed season". Perennial AR is year round and is often due to dust mites, mold or pets.

The typical symptoms of AR include nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes (also known as allergic conjunctivitis), sneezing and coughing. Appropriate initial treatment is an oral antihistamine. Both short acting and long acting anti-histamines are available. Loratidine (claritin) and certizine (zyrtec) are examples of once a day medicines that are now over the counter. If symptoms are not well controlled by these agents then a visit to your physician may result in prescriptions. These may include nasal steroids, singulair, or prescription eye drops. Prolonged allergy symptoms followed by a sudden worsening may signal the onset of a sinus infection that may require antibiotics to treat.

While it is unknown how young allergies can start, it is not common in infants, but can be seen in some toddlers.