You may be wondering how you could be suffering from allergies in the middle of winter. Well, the culprit may be perennial allergies. These allergies last all year long –– no matter the season. As you spend more time in your home, you may start to notice how your symptoms flare up. This is because perennial allergies are caused by indoor exposure to airborne substances that your immune system finds harmful. Let’s learn more about pesky, year-round allergies and what you can do to find relief.
Perennial allergies, or perennial allergic rhinitis, causes inflammation of the nasal passages, triggered by an allergen that is present throughout the year. This chronic condition causes your allergy symptoms to be present for at least one hour on most days of the year, making you feel like you have a never ending cold.
In general, the most common causes of perennial allergies are allergens such as dust mites, mold spores, cockroaches and mice. In some cases, there are other types of triggers that could be causing your symptoms, such as smoke or perfumes.
When a person’s immune system considers these allergens harmful, it reacts and causes those irritating allergy symptoms to flare up. Perennial allergens are airborne and are commonly inhaled, leading most symptoms to affect the nose and nasal passages. However, it can also affect the eyes. People suffering from perennial allergies have a variety of treatment options available to manage their allergy symptoms.
Perennial allergies typically target the nose, causing inflammation and irritation. Sometimes, if the allergen comes into contact with the eye, it can trigger symptoms such as watery or itchy eyes. Most people that suffer from perennial allergies also have asthma, which is often brought on by the same triggers of their allergies.
If you suffer from perennial allergies, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
If left untreated, these symptoms could develop into a more serious condition, such as sinusitis. It is important to seek treatment to prevent more serious symptoms such as headaches, facial pain, fatigue and in some cases a decreased sense of smell, from occurring.
Everyone has a unique allergy experience, so your symptoms might be slightly different. If you feel like you may be suffering from perennial allergies, it is best to speak to a medical professional to get diagnosed and find out what treatment options are available to help improve your quality of life.
When trying to diagnose perennial allergies, the doctor will ask you a series of questions to try and gain a better understanding of your lifestyle and symptoms. It is important to provide your doctor with detailed and relevant information about your specific symptoms, the times when they occur, and allergens you suspect to be triggering your allergies.
Some typical questions your doctor may ask are:
Take some time before your appointment to think about the answers to these questions and be prepared to provide your doctor with as much information as possible. After discussing your answers, the doctor will have a much better understanding of your situation.
The next step will be a physical examination of your ears, nose and throat. Typically the inside of the nose is pale and swollen if a person is suffering from allergies. During this examination, they will be looking for signs of irritation or infection, which may lead to complications if left untreated. Once the doctor has a diagnosis, they may prescribe medication to treat the allergies.
If a person doesn’t know what is causing their symptoms, allergy tests can be conducted to identify the problem. These tests will confirm a diagnosis and identify the allergens that are causing the symptoms to flare up. Typically, a skin test is performed. During the test, the doctor will place a small amount of different potential allergens diluted in water on your skin. Then, they will prick the skin and observe for any potential reactions that may occur. After a few minutes, the body will react to the allergens that it finds harmful, identifying a person’s allergens. After the test, you will be able to identify exactly what causes your symptoms and what specifically you need to avoid.
If a person is unable to do a skin test due to sensitive skin or a bad reaction, a blood test can be used as an alternative. A sample of blood will be taken and sent to a lab. After a few days, your doctor will review the results back and be able to determine the cause(s) of your allergies and recommend treatment options..
Managing your perennial allergies can be a difficult task. Luckily, there are a number of options that a person suffering from perennial allergies can try in order to relieve their symptoms.
The most effective way to manage your perennial allergies is to try and avoid the allergens altogether. Prevention may require lifestyle changes to be made, but is the only way to ensure your symptoms don’t flare up. Since these allergens are typically found in your home, regular cleaning is recommended. When cleaning, wear a mask to avoid inhaling the allergens and use a damp cloth to dust, trapping the allergens rather than stirring them into the air.
Also, if you suffer from allergies, it is recommended that you change the air filters in your home more frequently. These filters should be changed every 20 to 45 days to keep the air allergen-free. Another way to keep your air clean is by using an air purifier. This can help filter out the dust or pet dander in the air.
Although prevention is the best method, it is not always possible. There will be situations where you leave your home and come into contact with the substances that you are allergic to.
One possible short term solution for your perennial allergies are nasal decongestants. Essentially, these medications reduce the inflammation of the blood vessels in your nose and open up your nasal passages. They come in various forms such as pills, liquids, drops or sprays. One important thing to remember about nasal decongestants is that if taken too often, they can actually make your symptoms worse. Decongestants are stimulants and can have a number of negative side effects and shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time. Although they do offer relief from a common allergy symptom, decongestants do not provide a solution to the problem.
One of the most common treatment options for perennial allergy relief are nasal sprays. They can either be prescribed or purchased directly over-the-counter. If taken prior to exposure to triggering allergens, they can prevent congestion, sneezing, or runny nose from occurring. Although they provide relief, these sprays will not stop a person from experiencing allergies.
An effective way to treat your allergies is to start immunotherapy. This long-term treatment option works through a process called desensitization, which teaches your body not to react to allergens when it comes into contact with them. If done consistently, it may be an effective solution for some allergy sufferers.
Immunotherapy works by purposely exposing your body to small amounts of the allergens that it believes are harmful. Typically, this form of treatment is administered by allergy shots or orally via drops. In order to have the treatment administered, you must visit your doctor multiple times a month for three to five years.
Over time, this will desensitize your immune system to the allergen, so that when it comes into contact with it naturally, it doesn't react. If treatment is consistent, the desensitization process should reduce or eliminate the inflammation response.
The newest advancement in immunotherapy is transdermal immunotherapy, also known as TdIT. This form of treatment is applied directly to the skin in the form of a cream and is the most natural way to desensitize the body to allergens. When the transdermal allergy cream is applied to the skin, it is absorbed into the lymphatic system, where the immune system operates. After about 15 minutes, the allergens in the cream are absorbed into the skin and can be washed off.
There are a number of allergens that can trigger perennial allergies. Most perennial allergies are caused by: dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, mice and insects.
When a person who has allergies comes into contact with any of these allergens, their body will try and fight off the substance and cause allergy symptoms.
Unlike seasonal allergies, perennial allergies are active no matter what the season is. The allergens that cause perennial allergies can be found throughout the year.
Yes, Transdermal Immunotherapy does treat perennial allergies from dust mites, pet dander, molds, mice and insects.
At ShotFree Allergy, we put you in contact with the physicians and specialty pharmacies that provide the latest in allergy treatments. In order to begin treatment, schedule an Online Appointment to discuss your allergy symptoms with an online provider. During the appointment you will discuss your allergy symptoms in order to determine if you are a good candidate for Transdermal Allergy Immunotherapy. If you are, a prescription will be issued and the pharmacy will mail you your treatment.
When starting treatment we recommend a few monthly visits to your Doctor as a standard safety protocol. If any Stay-At-Home order is in place, you may sign a consent form to apply your first dose at home with another person present. You will then apply the cream at home three times per week.
After the initial period of recommended visits to your Doctor, you can continue to apply the cream at home three times per week. For the remainder of your treatment, we recommend an annual checkup with an online provider.
If you still have questions, check out our FAQ page for more information.
If you think you may be suffering from perennial allergies and want to take the next step towards finding long term relief, make an appointment through ShotFree Allergy to speak to a physician online today. They will be able to help you start transdermal immunotherapy, conveniently from the comfort of your own home, saving you time and money.